Areas of Brick Township began to flood early afternoon Monday, as Hurricane Sandy took aim at the Jersey Shore and brought initial bands of rain and high winds with her.
The township is under a local state of emergency that bans vehicular traffic on roadways.
Jersey Central Power and Light reported 892 customers without power in Brick as of 1:45 p.m., and emergency scanner chatter indicated power lines were coming down at a fast pace in various parts of the township. Scanner chatter also indicated a tree had fallen onto a home on Manchester Drive, causing a fire in the residence.
Mayor Stephen C. Acropolis said the protective dune erected at Brick Beach I had been completely destroyed, but a similar dune at Brick Beach III was holding up. The ocean had not met the bay, though there had been a small breach of the ocean dune in nearby Lavallette.
About 20 families had decided to stay in the township's barrier island section, Acropolis said.
The vast majority heeded the order to evacuate.
"My biggest fear now is the slow rise of water that's going to flood out areas where people are not used to having floods," said Acropolis, adding the evening high tide tonight could be the worst period of time in terms of flooding.
Various areas of the township flooded, including sections near the Manasquan River in Herbertsville. The River Rock bar and restaurant was surrounded by water by late morning.
Residents seeking to evacuate were being urged to call the township's storm call center at 732-262-1234.
Acropolis said residents wishing to evacuate may be brought by bus to staging areas, after which a more permanent shelter would be arranged.