The first hurricane in recorded history to strike the Jersey Shore—a massive storm packing winds up to 97 mph—has hit land, shutting down the state's infrastructure, knocking out power to hundreds of thousands and leaving an untold number of people stranded by flooding.
The Atlantic Ocean is now creeping and pouring into the streets of Point Pleasant Beach, Long Beach Township and many other communities along the Jersey Shore, a region that had never felt the 90-mph winds and paths of distruction caused by a direct hurricane strike.
Weather forecasters say the center of Hurricane Sandy hit Atantic City around 8 p.m., about five miles east of Galloway Township and 10 miles north of Atlantic City. The city's casino industry shut down for the fourth time since gaming was legalized in New Jersey in 1978.
"Travel puts residents like you at risk," read a Metuchen Borough service announcement. "Live wires are on the ground."
In Brick, a house near the Barnegat Bay dislodged but apparently caused no damage to the Mantoloking Bridge after it reportedly struck the span, police said.
Police said they're investigating, but they can't even get to that eastern side of the span to inspect the damaged house, said Sgt. Keith Reinhard of the Brick Police.
Police can't travel to that side of the Barnegat Bay because the ocean has breached through.
On Long Beach Island, the Atlantic Ocean breached through to the Barnegat Bay. On their Facebook page, Harvey Cedars police wrote: "We are experiencing areas where the ocean has breached over and has met the Boulevard."
Eyewitnesses noted that back bay flooding was high in certain areas of the island, and that the ocean had breached the dunes in certain areas of Loveladies and North Beach.
Sections of Long Beach Island and Stafford were seeing sustained winds around 35 miles per hour as of 7:30 a.m. this morning and pockets of flooding, according to police.
On their Facebook page, Harvey Cedars police wrote: "we are experiencing areas where the ocean has breached over and has met the Boulevard."
Eyewitnesses noted this morning that back bay flooding is high in certain areas of the island, and that the ocean has breached the dunes in certain areas of Loveladies and North Beach.
Harvey Cedars Chief Thomas Preiser and Coast Guard Barnegat Light Jay O. Greiner told Patch they are mostly concerned about Monday, around 8 p.m., when the high tide is expected, along with steady, strong winds.
In Berkeley, the battered Beachwood Shopping Center was engulfed in flames Monday night as Hurricane Sandy struck the Jersey Shore.
The smell of burning transformers lingered down a dark Route 9 as 80 mph winds blew through Berkeley.
No word on the extent of the damages to the controversial structure.