SEA BRIGHT, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — New Jersey felt the effects of Elsa after other powerful storms moved through Thursday.

The weather calmed down significantly Friday. But the water at the beach in Sea Bright stayed closed as local officials didn’t want to take any chances, CBS2’s John Dias reported.

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It wasn’t the way Sue Schirl expected her vacation at the Jersey Shore to start.

“It was treacherous,” she said.

Schirl drove five hours from Massachusetts through the storm to arrive Friday morning.

“I was white-knuckling it, like almost the whole way, like wipers on high,” she told Dias.

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Elsa pummeled the Garden State. Ocean and Monmouth Counties were under severe weather warnings for most of the early morning.

“We know what to do, closed all the umbrellas, put in some porch pillows and battened down the hatches,” said Jane Pattwell.

Local officials closed beaches to swimmers in Sea Bright on Friday out of an abundance of caution.

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“If it’s a really, pretty good rip current, you don’t want to go in. It’s pretty dangerous,” said Marty Pattwell.

They’re still building back from Superstorm Sandy in Sea Bright.

“It was a tough one. But we really rebuilt as intelligently and cost effective as we could,” said Mayor Brian Kelly.

Reporting power outages:

Kelly said the borough is better prepared for a major storm than ever before. Most homes downtown have been elevated to prevent damage, though there wasn’t significant flooding Friday.

“Eighty percent of the ones that should have elevated, have elevated, including myself,” Kelly said.

Though the weather may bring some worries, not everyone on the shore is upset about it.

“I actually love the rain. I think we needed it, it feels good,” one person said.

“It’s so pretty when it rains down the shore,” said tourist Donna Carrazzone. “You always have the ocean to look at and she’s always beautiful no matter what.”

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There’s not a definitive timeline for reopening the beach, but the mayor said he’s advising everyone to stay out of the ocean for a few days.

John Dias