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Was Sandy Inevitable?

In Beach Haven West (Credit: Carey Codd)

In Beach Haven West (Credit: Carey Codd)

kathy-orr-web Kathy Orr
Emmy award winning Meteorologist Kathy Orr provides forecasts week...
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By Kathy Orr

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — When I learned that part of Beach Haven was breached during Monday’s first high tide, my heart sunk.

After 10 years of highlighting the best of our Jersey Shore, I realized it was never going to be the same.

Meteorologists, especially those of us who grew up vacationing down the shore, have studied all of the great storms of the Jersey Shore. It’s the stuff that movies are made of. Now Sandy was going to top that list.

For over a decade, our emergency managers have prepared for a storm like Sandy. Every May there is a conference in Atlantic City to educate emergency personnel about the risks of hurricanes. Past National Hurricane directors, like Max Mayfield, have been guest speakers. Every year they warn residents of the possibility of a Category One storm making landfall along the Jersey Shore. With the reality of climate change and warming ocean temperatures, it was only a matter of time. Unfortunately, the time is now.

Sandy made landfall Monday, October 29th at 8 p.m. as a post-tropical cyclone with maximum sustained winds of 80 mph.

An unprecedented strike, being “captured” by an overzealous jet stream, then pulled it back to the coast.

As we begin to see the devastation of our beaches and shore properties, now the worry turns to the future. We are in nor’easter “season”, and with most of the protective dunes washed away, a powerful winter or spring nor’easter could do greater damage to vulnerable beach front properties.

Let’s hope for a very quiet winter.