— -- The New Jersey shore faced dangerous flooding Saturday as a massive snowstorm made its way up the East Coast.
While a coastal flood warning was issued for Delaware, New Jersey and the southern coast of Long Island, the worst coastal flooding and erosion was expected in southern New Jersey, where forecasters where record storm surge was reported in at least one area. Officials worked to prepare the region all week, building up sand dunes and keeping first responders on standby, only three years after Hurricane Sandy devastated the area.
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie declared a state of emergency Friday night as the storm progressed. He left the presidential campaign trail to return to the state.
Extensive tidal flooding is being reported on the shore, including Cape May, Wildwood and Ocean City. This morning marked a record storm surge -- 9.4 feet at Cape May.
Jersey shore residents took to social media today to document the flooding, from Atlantic City...
to nearby Ventnor Beach...
to Sea Isle City...
to Ocean City Beach, where one resident joked the flooding gave her "ocean front property."
Belmar Mayor Matt Doherty, speaking to ABC station WABC-TV in New York this morning, advised residents to "stay put" and "hunker down."
Christie said he "never changed his mind" about returning to New Jersey, saying he made it back "before the first snowflake hit the ground.”
While several towns on the Jersey Shore experienced flooding, Christie said today at a news conference, "This is certainly not Superstorm Sandy."
Christie said he was concerned about residents who live in the back bay areas of the Jersey Shore barrier islands.
Residents are sheltering this weekend in the southern part of the state, but Christie said things should "be just fine" when they head back to work Monday.
"The lieutenant governor [Kim Guadagno] and I have done this a number of times before ... I think it will be taken care of," he said.
Christie also took aim today at residents in some Jersey shore towns who are fighting the installation of sand dunes. Christie called those objecting to the dune project "selfish."