UNION BEACH, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — Residents of coastal communities affected by Superstorm Sandy in 2012 have been watching the path of Hurricane Joaquin closely – amid fears that history could repeat itself.

As CBS2’s Vanessa Murdock reported, homes once lined the waterfront on Brook Avenue in Union Beach, New Jersey, but not anymore since Sandy. Now with Joaquin threatening the coastline, those who call Union Beach home are in fear of going through it all again.

Sea water forced ashore has already been making navigation in Union Beach a little tricky this week, and the storm was still days away as of Thursday.

“I’m hoping with a prayer of God it doesn’t hit like Sandy hit,” said Kevin Parsells of Union Beach.

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The superstorm nearly wiped out the entire block and split a house in half. The night of Oct. 29, 2012 remains a vivid memory for those who lived through it.

Simone Dannecker said she is worried about another Sandy, “but you know, there’s really nothing you can do.”

With so many fearing a second Sandy might be heading our way, CBS2 sat down with New Jersey State Climatologist Dr. Dave Robinson to discuss Joaquin.

When asked if he saw any similarities to Sandy, Robinson, of Rutgers University, said, “At the moment, no.

“The latest forecasts have that left turn out of the picture,” Robinson said.

Robinson said Joaquin is a problem child of a storm that is distinctly different from Superstorm Sandy.

“The tropics dominate this one, and the extratropics were dominating Sandy,” he explained.

That makes Joaquin a different beast, with no cold to interact with. And Sandy’s track was spot-on several days out.

Robinson credited “a combination of good models – which of course, still exist — and an atmosphere that didn’t change once it got moving” for the forecast accuracy for Sandy.

“In the case of Joaquin, it’s all over the map,” Robinson said.

Despite the differences between Sandy and Joaquin, the storms share at least one thing in common — both tracks move over unseasonably warm water and that could affect Joaquin’s strength as it nears our shores.

“They have it at tropical storm status right now, but I’m a little suspicious about that because SST are so warm,” Robinson said.

Despite what experts say, folks down the shore just want to get through the storm

“I’m a pretty scared right now, but I’m feeling more prepared because I have a good feeling of what’s going to happen this time,” Parsells said.

“If they say evacuate, were leaving,” a woman said.

Communities along the Jersey Shore, regardless of track, are expected to sustain beach erosion and coastal flooding. Main streets have already been closed in some areas during high tide.