Ocean City Wakes Up to Erosion, Flooding and a Big Cleanup

Ocean City Wakes Up to Erosion, Flooding and a Big Cleanup

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The storm knocked down sand fence and ate into the dunes at Fifth Street.

 

Ocean City awoke Sunday to icy rivers running down the bayside avenues as a third high tide flooded streets.

A snowman stands guard over the flooded public pier at Second Street and the bay on Sunday.
A snowman stands guard over the flooded public pier at Second Street and the bay on Sunday.

But with the sun out, the tide falling and a massive coastal storm long gone, owners began a cleanup and an assessment of flood damage on ground-level property.

A winter storm that arrived late Friday night caused the worst flooding Ocean City has seen since Superstorm Sandy, and the surge continued through three tide cycles. But the worst turned out to be the first.

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The tide gauge at the Bayside Center reached 8.04 feet at 7:20 a.m. Saturday, 7.7 feet at 8:18 p.m. Saturday and 7.34 feet at 8:18 a.m. Sunday. The three tides were the worst since Superstorm Sandy registered a record 10.02 feet in Ocean City.

Flood waters still cover most bayside streets on Sunday morning.
Flood waters still cover most bayside streets on Sunday morning.

While a blizzard dumped deep snow on many inland areas, Ocean City dealt with flooding that covered most streets on the bay side of town throughout Saturday.

Even on Sunday morning, long stretches of Haven and Simpson avenues remained underwater, along with parts of Bay and West avenues.

Few people took advantage of a voluntary shelter set up at Ocean City High School as most rode out the storm at home. But as the flood waters recede, owners will begin to see what kind of damage is left behind.

One of the city's military surplus vehicles capable of driving through flood waters drives past the flooded intersection of 11th Street and Bay Avenue on Sunday morning.
One of the city’s military surplus vehicles capable of driving through flood waters drives past the flooded intersection of 11th Street and Bay Avenue on Sunday morning.

In a scene reminiscent of the October northeast gale that eroded dunes at Fifth and Sixth streets, the ocean on Sunday morning ate into the dunes again. A massive Army Corps of Engineers beach replenishment project to restore dunes and beaches along that stretch was just completed in December.

But that stretch appeared to be the only place on the island where the ocean reached the dunes. Recent beach projects at the north and south ends will have lost sand, but they achieved their objective in protecting property.

The Army Corps is scheduled to return to the south end for a touch-up project later this winter.

Surfers check out the fortunes of a few brave souls who were the first to venture out into double-overhead surf on Sunday morning.
Surfers check out the fortunes of a few brave souls who were the first to venture out into double-overhead surf on Sunday morning.
The 59th Street jetty makes a reappearance after the weekend storm. It had been mostly buried by a recent beach replenishment project.
The 59th Street jetty makes a reappearance after the weekend storm. It had been mostly buried by a recent beach replenishment project.