‘Lake Christie’ returns to Margate beach — with huge flooding behind dunes
MARGATE — Monday's rain brought ponding back to the beach behind a controversial dune project.
The "no swimming" signs went back up along the beach between Huntington Avenue and Fredericksburg Avenue when rainwater with no place to go again ponded on the beach, according to 6 ABC Action News.
Townsquare New Jersey Chief Meteorologist Dan Zarrow said about "about an inch and a half" of rain fell in Margate on Monday.
Margate Mayor Michael Becker said the contractor working on the dune project will pump out the latest ponding but did not say when, according to the report.
Becker said the city’s testing of water from last week's ponds found “off the charts” levels of bacterial contamination. He said two lifeguards had contracted bacterial infections by sloshing through the dirty water this week, and are out sick from work.
Residents nicknamed the area "Lake Christie" because of the governor's strong backing of the dune project for coastal areas following Superstorm Sandy.
The water first ponded last week after a heavy rain and prompted the city to resume its legal battle against the state's dune project. A state judge last Thursday ordered all sides to work out a remedial plan after the project created huge ponds of bacteria-laden water and blocked off access to parts of the beach.
The ponds of standing water are exactly what Margate residents had warned of in previous, unsuccessful litigation against the government's plan to build the protective sand dunes.
Susan Kelleher, as resident of Margate since the 1950s, said the bulkhead system works almost flawlessly during high tides and rhe ocean rarely breaches them and flows into the streets.
"Damaging floods in Margate always come from the bay, an issue that the state does not acknowledge. Margate has a few natural dunes and drainage has been an issue behind some of them. The city anticipated drainage issues and this project magnified it and they have only done half of the town," Kelleher said.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Contact reporter Dan Alexander at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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