As remnants of Ian drench and flood parts of New Jersey, Phil Murphy has eyes fixed on Biden political visit

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Ortley Beach, NJ - Photo by Toms River Township.

ATLANTIC CITY, NJ – Communities up and down the Jersey Shore are experiencing coastal flooding as the remnants of Hurricane Ian drop buckets of water across the state. The National Weather Service has issued a coastal flood warning that could make many roads impassible and cause widespread flooding across coastal and bayfront communities.

In Ocean City, on Monday, flooding led to the early dismissal of public schools, and more rain is on its way.

The governor of New Jersey, Phil Murphy appears to have his mind elsewhere. On Thursday, Murphy will be hosting U.S. President Joe Biden at his Jersey Shore mansion, not to talk about the devastation left behind in the south by Hurricane Ian, but to raise money for Democrat political candidates up and down the ballot across the state.

That reception is being billed by organizers as a “million dollar” fundraiser and is part of the President’s tour of the northeast to raise money for the midterm elections as communities in Florida and elsewhere continue their recovery efforts post-Ian.

Murphy’s only statement on the storm lingering over New Jersey today was that it could bring minor flooding.

“Coastal flooding will be at its peak over the next few hours as high tide approaches. Expect widespread roadway flooding along the coast and within bayside communities, with some roads becoming impassable,” the National Weather Service reported.

Instead, the governor is preparing for a visit by Biden to his Middletown waterfront mansion on Thursday to raise money, not for Hurricane Ian survivors, but for Democrats running for office.

Murphy and Biden are expected to raise over $1 million for the  Democratic National Committee’s Grassroots Victory Fund.

The floodwaters along the Jersey Shore are expected to rise today when many streets already look like rivers. Atlantic City Mayor Marty Small Sr. is advising residents not to laugh off the storm, saying it could cause dangerous and deadly situations across his city for those who downplay the potential dangers.

In other places along the shore, coastal beach erosion is also a major threat as the passing storm churns up the Atlantic Ocean.

In Ortley Beach, officials are keeping a close eye on the area that was ground zero ten years ago during Superstorm Sandy. This year, Ortley Beach has suffered from significant erosion from multiple nor’easters.

“Surprisingly, so far the storm has pushed sand onto the dunes and not caused any new erosion, but we are still expecting two days of Northeast winds,” Township Engineer Bob Chankalian noted.

High tide along the Jersey Shore starts at around 3:30 pm today.