Weakened Dorian may still bring deadly rip currents to Jersey beaches

Kim Glovas
September 04, 2019 - 1:19 pm
Jersey shore

Stephen Bonk/Dreamstime

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PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — Hurricane Dorian may be losing steam as it moves northward, but the storm is still expected to pack a wallop when it moves off the Jersey Shore. 

Even though the hurricane isn't expected to get closer than a few hundred miles from the shoreline, it will still generate some heavy surf and rip currents. That's according to Alex Staarmann, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service in Mount Holly. And he says that doesn't take into account the winds.

Related: Bahamians begin rescues as Dorian moves on toward US coast

"We are expecting there to be some relatively high winds along the coast, so those bigger swells are combining with waves being generated by the winds, and that's also contributing to the higher rip current risk," Staarmann said.

Lieutenant Bryan Theiss of the Ocean City Beach Patrol says even though many life guards have left, some beaches are still open — for now. 

"Our normal beaches that are open past Labor Day are still open right now, and really we're just gonna monitor that storm to see how close it's gonna come," he said.

Theiss says it's not unusual for guards to close the water to beach goers, on rough days, and this is no exception. "We've had plenty of rough days that aren't just from hurricanes, where it's just too dangerous to have bathers swim."

The National Weather Service says the rip currents could subside by Sunday, depending on Dorian's track.