Tropical Storm Andrea Gives New Jersey Heavy Rain, Flooding
New Jersey is feeling the full effects of Tropical Storm Andrea with heavy rains causing a slow ride home.
Parts of major roads and side roads have sections with high water causing a number of accidents and spinouts. The National Weather Service has issued a Flood Warning for central New Jersey counties as an area of heavy rain moves into the area until 9:30 p.m.
The Office of Emergency Management has activated the state's Emergency Operations Center to monitor the effect of the heavy rain Anrdea brings with her to New Jersey.
Ben Nelson, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Jacksonville, Fla., said Andrea was "moving at a pretty brisk pace" and could lose its tropical characteristics Friday.
NJ Transit will cross-honor tickets on its trains and buses until midnight as remnants of Tropical Storm Andrea threaten Friday's commute home.
"It doesn't appear the storm will have a major impact on the coast, it doesn't appear like it's going to have strong winds either at the coast or inland - it's a pretty quick mover, so it's going to be in and out of here in relatively short order," says New Jersey State Climatologist Dave Robinson.
Nevertheless, he points out the storm may produce a lot of rain, and if we get into the 3 and 4 inch category for rainfall in some parts of the State, it could cause highway and small stream and river flooding problems.
Robinson points out however, we're not expecting multiple inches that could lead to flooding inland, similar to what we saw two years ago with Irene, and "it's not going to be a strong storm in terms of producing winds and waves and a storm surge along the barrier islands and into the bays - this is a totally different situation than we saw with Sandy so we should be grateful for that."
Winds may gust up to 40 mph along the Atlantic coasts of New Jersey & Delaware, 25 to 35 mph over inland sections east of I-95, and up to 25 mph west of I-95.The strongest winds will be over the Atlantic Ocean away from land. Beaches are at a high risk for rip currents with high surf and large swells producing dangerous pounding surf. Conditions are considered life threatening for anyone going into the ocean.
Heavy rains were continuing well away from the storm's center. The weather service in Charleston, S.C., advised of "an enhanced coastal flooding threat near the high tide Friday morning," as well as of possible tornadoes. Rain bands could bring wind gusts in excess of 40 mph or 50 mph, the weather service said.
Early Friday, tropical storm warnings remained in effect for the East Coast from Altamaha Sound in Georgia to Cape Charles Light in Virginia, the Pamlico and Albemarle sounds and the lower Chesapeake Bay south of New Point Comfort. A tropical storm warning means tropical storm conditions are expected somewhere inside the warning area within a day and a half.
David Matthau and the Associated Press contributed to this report.