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Hurricane Joaquin heads for New Jersey coast

Towns along the New Jersey shore are preparing for a one-two punch they fear could bring major flooding.

With a deluge of rain in the forecast for the next several days and Hurricane Joaquin threatening the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast, towns along the New Jersey shore are preparing for a one-two punch they fear could bring major flooding.

Belmar Mayor Matthew Doherty called the concern level "high," particularly after Hurricane Sandy in 2012 caused flooding that lasted a week in his town.

"Ever since Sandy, we are very sensitive to storms that are in the Atlantic," he told NJ.com.

In Asbury Park, crews were lowering lake levels to help prevent flooding from the anticipated rainfall.

"That's our normal procedure for storms that carry a lot of water, and this one certainly is," said Tom Gilmour, director of economic development for the city.

Three years after Sandy slammed the Jersey shore, marinas and boatyards are still recovering from the physical and financial hammering they were dealt, as reported in the October issue of Soundings Trade Only.

While the situation is unlikely to be as severe as Sandy, Accuweather.com is reporting today that coastal flooding is a significant threat from the Carolinas to Maine, including in some of the inland bays and tidal rivers.

The period from Saturday into next Tuesday will bring onshore winds strong enough to cause coastal flooding, beach erosion and high surf. How severe this becomes will depend on whether a non-tropical storm acts alone or combines with Joaquin or its moisture.

Those along the immediate East Coast from North Carolina into southern New England should make preparations for flooding regardless of how Joaquin shapes up.

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