Riptides could cause Jersey Shore problems as successful summer season draws to a close

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A surfer walks the beach while looking for waves from the surge of Hurricane Hermine

A surfer walks the beach while looking for waves from the surge of Hurricane Hermine

Red flags have been popping up at the beaches along the Jersey coast Friday as severe weather draws closer. 

Early Friday, Scott Wahl of Avalon said he could see the beginning of the effects from Tropical Storm Hermine  in the form of riptides that could make going into the ocean risky.

“Every beach patrol is saying,  ‘Swim in the presence of a lifeguard, never swim without a lifeguard present, follow all instructions’ due to the rip currents that are coming up from Hermine,” he said.

Even though the storm that began slamming Florida Thursday isn’t expected to hit the beaches until later in the weekend, Wahl said the ocean is churning and people should be very careful if they want to take a dip before the weather keeps them inside.

However, even with the impending inclement end, the summer season was largely a success, tourism officials said. 

Michelle Gillian of Ocean City’s Chamber of Commerce said it was good summer.

“Our day trippers, as well as our weekend guests and our second-home owners, really have been in Ocean City,” she said. “We can track that through beach tags and parking, which are both up.”

Down the Garden State Parkway in Avalon, Wahl said it has been one of the borough’s strongest summer seasons ever.

“The crowds have been a little better than last year, which was an all-time record year,” said the borough spokesman.

But in Wildwood, Jack Morey of Morey’s Piers said some of the heat waves proved a little too much for visitors to his amusement park.

“We need sunshine, it needs to be the right heat, there are a lot of variables,” he said.

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