The Garden State rarely gets hit with the full force of a hurricane. Though storms that stay far off shore can still cause significant damage.
Emergency management officials in New Jersey shore towns are monitoring the path of Hurricane Earl. Indications are the storm will move far off the area coastline.
New Jersey rarely takes a direct hit from a hurricane. State climatologist Dave Robinson says the last one to cause severe damage along the Jersey coast was Donna in 1960, and the worst hurricane to hit the shore in the 20th century was an unnamed storm in 1944.
Robinson says a hurricane would have to be relatively close to the coast to cause major damage.
“Something in the order of fifty maybe even a hundred miles if it was a major storm. But each storm is different. So it’s difficult to say depending on the strength of the storm and the physical size of the storm.”
On its projected path. Earl is expected to cause rip currents, large waves, and potential erosion at New Jersey beaches.
Cape May County communications director Lenora Boninfante says emergency management officials are monitoring the storm closely.
“The local coastal communities have their beach patrols watching for rip tides and strong currents out in the ocean. Things can change with the storm but right now we’re just calling for some heavy rain and strong winds late Thursday night, early Friday morning.”