A nor'easter on its way to the Jersey Shore will be the first test of beaches that have not fully recovered from Superstorm Sandy.

 

The storm is not all that powerful but is moving slowly -- and that could produce abnormally high tides and some flooding, said Dave Robinson, state climatologist.

Stewart Farrell, director of the Coastal Research Center at Stockton College, said he's not expecting the nor'easter to cause major problems along the coast.

"This one will be the first bite out of the width of the beach and the elevation of the berm. It should not reach the dunes at all," Farrell said Wednesday. "It should expend itself on what accumulated this summer."

Most New Jersey beaches have about 60 to 70 percent of the sand they did before Sandy -- with most of it returned by natural wave action and the rest trucked in for restoration projects, Farrell said.

The beaches should be able to provide adequate protection unless there are a series of back-to-back nor'easters that cause major erosion, he said.

Still, Robinson is not discounting that possibility.

"I always worry when we start getting something early in the fall season that chews away at the coast a little," he said. "Any defense we have starts getting eroded away as we go into the nor'easter season, if you will, which can last into next spring."