BELMAR/LAKE COMO, NJ — Belmar felt the brunt of today’s nor’easter, as strong winds took down tree limbs, power lines and one utility pole, and flooding closed Route 35 at L Street for a time.

In addition, a handful of Belmar residents were still without power as of 5:30 p.m. today, October 27 — down from nearly 1,000 earlier in the day.

At Ocean Avenue and 18th Avenue, a utility pole with two transformers was toppled, trapping a garbage truck in the rear of Djais Bar & Grill at 1803 Ocean Avenue.

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Along Ocean Avenue, waves continued to pound the beachfront with eyewitnesses saying they haven’t seen the water this high since Superstorm Sandy ravaged the Jersey Shore six years ago.

Tree branches, small and large, were seen strewn on lawns on the north end of town, including a large oak tree that was split in half at Sixth Avenue and D Street. Belmar Public Works employees were busy throughout the morning, cleaning up debris and ensuring that stormwater lines are cleared to prevent street flooding.

According to Mayor Brian Magovern, Public Works employees have cut up and removed five downed trees, and the Belmar Fire Department has responded to 10 calls involving downed wires and smoke alarms.

While the heavy rain has lifted off to the north, strong winds and coastal flooding will continue into the early afternoon, according to the National Weather Services. Gale force winds are expected on all waters. High wind and coastal flood warnings will remain in effect until 3 p.m.

Residents who are without power are encouraged to call Jersey Central Power & Light at 1-888-LIGHTSS (1-888-544-4877) to report their outage or click the “Report Outage” link on www.firstenergycorp.com

As the storm continues on its trek northward, the skies will clear by Sunday morning, October 28 — just in time for all the ghosts, ghouls and other characters marching down Main Street in Belmar’s Halloween Parade and Costume Contest at noon.

The latest forecast from the National Weather Service:

Saturday: Rain, mainly before 5 p m. The rain could be heavy at times. High near 60. Windy, with an east wind 26 to 36 mph decreasing to 15 to 25 mph in the afternoon. Winds could gust as high as 55 mph. Chance of precipitation is 100 percent. New precipitation amounts between three-quarters and 1 inch possible.

Saturday night: A chance of showers, mainly before 10 p.m.. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 46. Southwest wind 10 to 15 mph. Chance of precipitation is 30 percent. New precipitation amounts of less than a tenth of an inch possible.

Sunday: Partly sunny, with a high near 58.

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