As of about 9 a.m. today, the Harvey Cedars Office of Emergency Management has asked all residents who are remaining in the area to report to High Point Firehouse "to be transported off the island immediately," due to "rapidly deteriorating" conditions.
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.
In a press release from Stafford Police, Lt. Tom Dellane reported that "numerous roads in the Cedar Bonnet Island, Mud City, Mallard Island and Beach Haven West sections of town are currently flooded and impassable. Emergency workers are currently providing evacuation assistance in these areas to residents who are impacted by the flooding." Police are asking residents to stay off roadways to allow emergency workers access to affected areas.
Ocean City already has surpassed Hurricane Irene in terms of water level. Recent readings are at 5.1 feet at the Bayside Center, and Irene's top tide was about 4.5 feet.
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.
Preiser said that there have been pockets of flooding reported throughout the island, including the main circle that serves as the entrance to Long Beach Island. The eastbound lane has been shut down to oncoming traffic, but the westbound lane to the Causeway bridge was still passable around 6 p.m. Sunday, Preiser said.