Northeast
In this July 10, 2015 photo, a fishing boat enters the Manasquan Inlet between Manasquan and Point Pleasant Beach, N.J. A report by New Jersey and federal officials proposes building flood gates across the mouths of several inlets, including the Manasquan Inlet, that can be closed when serious storms approach as a way to reduce back bay flooding. (AP Photo/Wayne Parry) THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

New Jersey Proposes Gates to Close Inlets, Curb Back Bay Flooding

Storm surge barriers to temporarily close off some New Jersey inlets during severe storms are among measures envisioned in a new study to protect coastal areas from back bay flooding.

MANASQUAN, N.J. (AP) — Storm surge barriers to temporarily close off inlets and portions of bays during severe storms are among measures envisioned in a new study to protect New Jerseycoastal areas from back bay flooding.

Such flooding caused major damage during Superstorm Sandy in 2012, even though more attention was paid to damage from oceanfront waves pounding on the beachfront.

By contrast, back bay flooding is gradual and insidious, creeping up on areas fronting on bays or places with tributaries that swell with flood water and inundate homes and businesses.

Fixing it will be expensive and difficult as sea levels continue to rise, yet governments and individual homeowners show little appetite for reining in construction on the very edges of the shoreline. Proposed fixes will cost billions of dollars — and no government funding is guaranteed for it, either.

"We're living on a back bay, and we flood every month, and we're just living with it," said Chuck Appleby, whose Seaside Park home was damaged by bayside flooding during Sandy and who only recently finished elevating it. "They don't have a solution yet."

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