While spring may be just around the corner, this week Old Man Winter showed that it’s too soon for folks in the US to think about warm weather. Another significant winter storm dumped 10 inches of snow on Chicago and the surrounding region before moving east toward the nation’s capital. Washington DC was spared the worst of it but coastal communities in Massachusetts and New Jersey were flooded Thursday morning. The relentless surf broke some sand barriers where were constructed to keep out the water in New Jersey, however many communities along that state’s shoreline filled with floodwater.
The storm system called Saturn is now heading to the Northeast. The National Weather Service issued winter storm warnings and advisories for many areas in that part of the country. The biggest worries are not the snowfall amounts but rather the possibility of major flooding along the Atlantic coastline. The winter storm will be compounded by normal high tides which is concerning. The National Weather Service put coastal flooding advisories into effect from Wednesday through Friday morning.
If the winter storm does not head out to the ocean and turns northward instead as it progresses up the east coast, those living in low-lying areas may face evacuation orders.
Long Beach Island, New Jersey is already underwater in some areas just four months after it was devastated by Superstorm Sandy. Officials in the nearly 20-mile long vacation destination told its residents that they should evacuate voluntarily. The concern there is beach erosion, rain, snow and high winds that could easily flood the area and especially the south end of the island.
Saturn, which is a classic nor’easter, will dump a few inches of snow on New York City overnight Thursday and up to six inches on Boston as it churns up the coast. Still shaken by superstorm Sandy, those living along the shore are working hard to protect the battered coastline from storm surge and beach erosion. The significant amounts of rain and snow the East has received during March is making the ground very saturated, raising flooding concerns and worries all up and down the eastern seaboard.