Massive storm surge from Hurricane Irene continues to pound the Jersey Shore even as Hurricane Irene passes through the area and moves towards New York.
A 7:15 a.m. new moon high tide and a huge influx of water being pushed onshore decimated sand dunes along Bradley Beach, largely sparing the borough of major damage as a result.
"These things did their job," Bradley Beach Police Chief Leonard Guida said of the sand dunes.
While the dune was breached in some areas and the protection was circumvented in walk through spots, damage to the Bradley Beach boardwalk and beachfront could well have been disastrous had the dune system not provided protection.
Dunes created a bottleneck effect in walk-through areas that normally allow access from the boardwalk to the sandy oceanfront beaches that are normally filled with sunbathers at this time of year.
Guida also reported some flooding in the Sylvan Lake area near the Avon-by-the-Sea and Bradley Beach border.
The storm surge gapped nearly 50 yards of beach and completely washed over jetties. Large white caps were held at bay by high, fortified dunes along the borough's beachfront, but sand piles created by borough employees at dune openings proved no match for the rushing ocean.
Similar reports are being heard from across the area as ocean water surges past or around dunes towards local roads and boardwalks.
Tropical storm force winds are expected to continue today even as Hurricane Irene moves out of the area.