All around the Shrewsbury River, residents Sunday woke up to a landscape altered by Hurricane Irene, a wet and treacherous mess of flooded streets, downed trees and power lines, and leaves strewn about their lawns.
Local and county officials urged residents to stay at home and off the roads Sunday as they began to assess and repair the damage.
“With an 8-foot storm surge and 10 to 12 inches of rainfall we are seeing inland and coastal flooding and downed trees and power lines,” said Monmouth County Sheriff Shaun Golden, who oversees the county’s Office of Emergency Management. “Do not touch trees or other objects in contact with wires.”
Little Silver Lt. Joe Mazza said that as of 4 p.m. the borough was still contending with live wires and some flooding, and as the back end of the storm continues to batter the area with tropical storm gusts of wind, it was best for residents to stay at home. He noted the wet ground and high winds made it very possible for more trees to fall.
"People should be cautious if they head out," said Mazza. "We're seeing more people on the roads than we'd like to."
All major routes in Port-Au-Peck section of Oceanport were flooded this morning, according to a statement from Oceanport OEM relayed by councilman Joseph Irace on the Oceanport Residents Facebook page.
As of 10 a.m., the following roads were flooded and impassable: Oceanport Ave. at Main St., Eatontown Blvd., Branchport Bridge to Long Branch, Monmouth Blvd at Myrtle Ave., Port Au Peck Ave North of Monmouth Blvd., Eatontown Blvd. at Route 36, Itaska at Seneca, Monmouth Blvd at Shrewsbury Ave., and Bridgewaters Drive at East Main Street.
Pictures of people kayaking through floodwaters by Borough Hall were posted, and councilwoman Ellynn Kahle reported seeing "Sgt. Tagerty, who said for the first time there were fish on Port-Au-Peck Ave. in the middle of the road!!"
Irace said OEM would issue an "all clear" when conditions permit via Code Red and siren alert. At 1:40 p.m., Irace announced most roads in the borough were clear for travel, but for residents to use caution.
In Little Silver this morning, resident and Eatontown-Tinton Falls Patch Local Editor Amy Byrnes reported a downed wire near the and trees down in front of Sunnycrest Ct. and White Rd. One fallen tree damaged two cars in the area, said Mazza, who said there were also several reports of trees falling on houses throughout the borough, though with minimal damage. Byrnes said she observed drivers trying to negotiate roads topped with nearly two feet of water, then nearly getting stuck and turning around.
As of 12:50 p.m. Borough Police Chief Daniel Shaffery reported the following areas of town were flooded and/or expected to flood with the high tide of the Shrewsbury River set for 10:13 p.m.: Seven Bridges Rd. (closed due to flooding and live wires), Little Silver Point Rd. east of Seven Bridges Rd. (Closed), Prospect Ave. (Closed due to flooding and live wires), and minor flooding on Winding Way.
Around 4:30 p.m., Mazza said tides had subsided and most roads in the borough were passable again, except for Seven Bridges Road and Prospect Ave. from Willow Dr. to Little Silver Point Rd. Both were still experiencing some flooding and live wires. Mazza said it was possible roads could flood again at high tide.
Shaffery identified several areas of Little Silver without power around noon, including Seven Bridges Rd., Little Silver Point Rd., Silverside Ave., Prospect Ave. (south end), Branch Ave. (north of Rumson Road), Oaks Rd., and Mitchel Pl.
As of 12:45 p.m. First Energy (JCP&L) reported an estimated 1,608 customers without power in Little Silver, 144 in Oceanport, and 13 in Monmouth Beach. By 3 p.m. 1,117 were in the dark in Little Silver, 150 in Oceanport, and 14 in Monmouth Beach. At 10 p.m., 1,642 were reported out in Little Silver, 152 in Oceanport, and 461 in Monmouth Beach.
Mazza said those numbers could actually be greater, as residents return to their homes and report them.
Irace relayed a message from OEM regarding power outages around 10 p.m., stating:
"Power will be restored to the Main St. area as soon as possible, but no time estimate has been given from JCP&L. People should call JCP&L (1-888-544-4877) to report their power outage, even though we have already done so for the area concerned. This way they will have an accurate count of the number affected. Also, avoid the Eatontown Blvd. and Main St. area due to the traffic light being down."
Stay tuned to Patch for more updates as they come in, and send any reports or photos to Greg.Kulaga@patch.com.