Public Health Warnings Have Been Issued For These 11 New Jersey Beaches
Some serious weather struck the Jersey Shore this past weekend (and Monday) with rapid rain, flash flooding, and wild winds leading to waterspouts. A waterspout is an intense columnar vortex (usually appearing as a funnel-shaped cloud) that occurs over a body of water. In simpler terms, it is a non-supercell tornado over the ocean. Many towns in Monmouth and Ocean counties received between 5 and 8 inches of rain which flooded streets and prompted Governor Murphy to enact a state of emergency in both counties.
Intense weather (particularly heavy rain) often means beach closings and advisories. Why? Typically, the culprit is stormwater runoff. Enterococci bacteria in excess of 104 colony forming units (cfu) per 100 milliliters of water is unsafe for swimming, and so beaches are shut down. Enterococci bacteria can cause urinary tract infections, bacteremia, bacterial endocarditis, diverticulitis, and meningitis, so it is best avoided. Water is tested regularly and recent readings have led to several New Jersey beaches being shut down.
Don’t despair, only 11 of our 204 monitored beaches are closed, leaving plenty of options available if you head to the shore this weekend. Which beaches should you avoid until further notice?
Some of these beaches had bacteria levels in excess of 1,000 CFU, nearly 10 times the safe limit. Still, they will likely clear up within a few days. To check on closures and advisories, visit the state of New Jersey’s monitoring website here.