SEA ISLE CITY, N.J., (CBS) — Residents at the Jersey Shore are dealing with major flooding and power outages as the first snow storm of the season moves out of the region.

In Sea Isle City, residents are dealing with the wind, the water and debris.

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The mayor of Sea Isle City, Len Desiderio, called in to Eyewitness News Saturday morning to give an update on how the shore town is handling this massive winter storm.

“We’re experiencing severe flooding and right now our fire department, along with four or five other departments, are fighting a blaze at 42nd and Landis Avenue. They’ve been fighting it for a few hours and they’re trying to contain it. They are trying to save neighboring properties.”

He continued, “We’re okay, other than this fire that’s been going on the past couple of hours. We’ve also had severe flooding throughout the entire community.”

PHOTOS: Winter Storm Causes Flooding Down The Shore

Desiderio says, “This in my opinion was worse than Sandy. Sandy was in the fall, it was a lot nicer, and now we’re dealing with unbelievable winds, cold, we had snow this morning and I have to hand it to our fire departments and our neighboring communities that are helping us.  They are doing one heck of a job in saving this block.”

Saturday evening, Governor Chris Christie spoke over the phone live with CBS 3 Eyewitness News to give an update on New Jersey.

“Here’s where we are right now. For those of you in the southern part of the state in your viewing area the worst of the storm is over. For those of you in the deep Jersey Shore we have one more high tide to go through in about an hour. We don’t believe there’s going to be significant flooding along the Jersey Shore but we’ve got to keep a close eye on the back bay areas, we have had some good flooding in Avalon and Stone Harbor and Sea Isle City. If in fact you lose power in those places, we want you to get to some place where you can shelter warmly. Whether it’s at a friend and family’s home or if not in every county there are shelters available where you can get something to eat and be warm for the evening. You can call local law enforcement and they’ll be able to help get you where you need to get to,” said Gov. Christie.

 

 

When asked about the Mayor of Sea Isle’s comments that is was a worse situation than Sandy for them, Christie responded:

“From a water perspective, Sea Isle City, Avalon, Stone Harbor, they got very little water during Sandy so there’s no doubt in my mind that there’s more water there right now than there was during Sandy. But we’ve got to remember that Sea Isle City did very well during Sandy, much better than any other part of the Jersey Shore. And what we’re not seeing is the destruction that you saw during Sandy in many parts of the Jersey Shore. So for those folks down there they have to go through one more high tide cycle tonight, we reached out and have been speaking to Mayor Desiderio in Sea Isle, Mayor Walters in Stone Harbor and make sure that they understand that anything they need we have available to them. Right now we think things are going as well as could be expected and the storm really has left that area of the state for the most part,” said Christie.

Night tide was around 7:45 p.m. Saturday.

Water quickly covered the streets of Sea Isle City around 8:45 p.m., about an hour after high tide.

Mayor Desiderio spent the day worrying about his residents. He spoke with CBS 3 Saturday night.

“I think its worse than Sandy because of the weather. The weather is cold, it’s snowing, it’s icy, its raining,” he said.

Earlier in the day, a fire broke out inside the Avalon Coffee Shop. No one was inside and the fire is under investigation. The wind never stopped.

The roads in Sea Isle City — empty.  But CBS 3 found a storm chaser from York, Pennsylvania braving the brutal winds. He just finished a trip to DC for the storm.

“We’ve just recently gotten here. This is a flooding event for us. Down in DC we had 30 inches of snow, Baltimore 30 inches of snow.”

The flooding will continue overnight, something Mayor Desiderio never originally expected.

“We got snow. rain. wind. We’ll get through it though,” he said.

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There will be another high tide Sunday at 8 a.m.

Residents in Stone Harbor, New Jersey are dealing with flooding and power outages.

Mayor Suzanne Walters told Eyewitness News, “It’s pretty bad. The town is totally without power.”

 

 

 

 

Officials say flooding along the Atlantic County coastline associated with the massive winter storm has forced the temporary closure of several roadways leading in and out of the county’s five barrier island communities of Brigantine, Atlantic City, Ventnor, Margate and Longport.

The American Red Cross, in cooperation with its government partners, has opened shelters to assist those affected by coastal flooding during the winter storm.

As of 8 p.m., the following Red Cross shelters are open:

Pennsylvania Avenue School, 201 North Pennsylvania Avenue, Atlantic City, NJ  08401

Russell O. Brackman Middle School, 600 Barnegat Boulevard North, Barnegat, NJ  08005

Woodbine Developmental Center, 1175 DeHirsh Avenue, Woodbine, NJ  08270

To find open shelter locations, visit redcross.org/find-help/shelter or download the free Red Cross Emergency App at redcross.org/apps.

 

WHAT TO BRING

Anyone evacuating to a Red Cross shelter should bring essential items for each member of the family:

  • Prescriptions and emergency medications
  • Foods that meet unusual dietary requirements
  • Identification to show residence is in affected area and important personal documents
  • Extra clothing, pillows, blankets, hygiene supplies and other comfort items
  • Supplies needed for children and infants, such as diapers, formula and toys
  • Special items for family members who are elderly or disabled
  • Chargers for any electronic devices you bring with you
  • Books, games and other ways to entertain your family and yourself
  • Note – Public health regulations do not permit pets in shelters; service animals are permitted.

 

WINTER WEATHER SAFETY

  • If you need to go outside, dress in layers of lightweight clothing to stay warm. Gloves and a hat will help prevent losing body heat.
  • Winterize your vehicle and keep the gas tank full. A full tank will keep the fuel line from freezing.
  • Bring the pets indoors. If that’s not possible, make sure they have enough shelter to keep them warm and that they can get to unfrozen water.
  • Do not use a stove or oven to heat the home.
  • Space heaters should sit on a level, hard surface and anything flammable should be kept at least three feet away.
  • If using a fireplace, use a glass or metal fire screen large enough to catch sparks and rolling logs
  • Turn off space heaters and make sure fireplace embers are out before leaving the room or going to bed.
  • Charge cell phones and keep flashlights handy in the event of a power outage.

 

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More information about winter safety is available on redcross.org.