Morata, signed from Chelsea on loan this month, had four efforts on goal.France World Cup winner Antoine Griezmann went close for the visitors with a second-half strike that came off the post.This was Atletico’s first loss in the league in 19 games and they remain six points behind Barcelona. Third-placed Real Madrid could close the gap to Diego Simeone’s side to two points if they defeat Alaves late last night.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram Alvaro Morata’s debut for Atletico Madrid ended in defeat at Real Betis as his side missed the chance to make ground on leaders on Barcelona.La Liga’s second-placed club could have closed the gap to three points after Barcelona drew 2-2 with Valencia, but they struggled to break down Betis.The match was settled by Sergio Canales’ 65th-minute penalty after defender Filipe Luis had handled.
By John Burton“I think we all breathed some sigh of relief when (Hurricane) Joaquin went off to the right,” heading of f into the Atlantic Ocean, Clean Ocean Action Executive Director Cindy Zipf said this week after assessing damage.Zipf was echoing many others who were planning for the worst, given reports that the hurricane could be barreling toward the Eastern Seaboard.Thankfully, it was not a hit but on the negative side areas prone to flooding once again showed our vulnerability; there was beach erosion and one storm-related death occurring in Colts Neck. But property damage was minimal, according to officials, thanks very much to the number of homes raised as a result of Super Storm Sandy. On the positive side, the rainfall over the of period of days last week went a long way to alleviating the water shortfall the county has had for months now.Tragically, Stacey Weathers, 46, Tinton Falls, was killed last Saturday, when the convertible Ford Mustang she was driving was hit by a falling tree along state Highway 34, near the intersection of Route 520. There was heavy rain and wind at approximately 4:25 p.m., when the incident occurred according to Colts Neck police.Weathers was the executive director of the state chapter of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, and she was instrumental in the organization’s efforts raising $7 million for patients and support research.That was the only reported injury related to the severe weather, according to Monmouth County Sheriff Shaun Golden.“We were fortunate,” given we were spared the brunt of the hurricane, Golden said. “That was good news.“The bad news,” he continued, “any time we get these nor’easters,” given the county’s 27 miles of shoreline and 22 coastal towns, “It’s prone to flooding” and “it showed in the usual spots,” Golden said, such as Sea Bright and Highlands and other locations.Since Super Storm Sandy in October 2012, “We’re more sensitive to it. Residents in those areas know what to expect,” Golden observed, meaning they know to do things like move vehicles from low lying areas, as well as taking other steps.“We had a lot of flooding,” acknowledged C. ReadMurphy, Sea Bright Office of Emergency Management director. The ocean and river front Sea Bright had on some side streets, at their end, facing the Shrewsbury River, as much as 5 feet of flooding. On portions of Ocean Avenue/ Highway 36 there was 2 1⁄2 feet of water blocking the roadway. But emergency services were prepared and traffic continued to move without disruption, Murphy said.“It was nice and quiet,” he said. “It was as good as flooding can be.”One interesting point, Murphy noted, given the number of homes elevated when rebuilt after being damaged and destroyed by Sandy, the structures were spared the effects of this flooding. “No houses took on water,” he said.Highlands had localized flooding in the traditional area, in the low-lying areas off of Bay Avenue, explained Tim Hill, Highlands administrator, as well as some tree damage. “It’s hard to gauge overall beach erosion,” on the narrow bay front beaches available in the borough, Hill said, “but we don’t think the beaches were severely impacted,” and there was “no significant damage to any municipal property.”“We were prepared,” Hill said. “Thank goodness we didn’t need it.”The hurricane hung around the Caribbean islands before turning east in the Atlantic Ocean sparing the U.S. Eastern Seaboard. And the weather we experienced for much of last week, with heavy rain and strong winds, wasn’t really a nor’easter, according to David Robinson, New Jersey State Climatologist, at Rutgers University.“It was a very complex situation,” involving the colliding of a persistent cold front and its low pressure “bringing a long fetch of moisture,” and rain and high-pressure front, along with some strong onshore winds. “We were squeezed between the two systems,” from about late Tuesday/early Wednesday until Saturday, coupling with it higher than normal high tides – as much as 2 feet higher, Robinson said.This weather formation resulted in as much as 5.47 inches of rain falling over that period in portions of Monmouth County. And that, Robinson pointed out, is “the bulk of a month’s precipitation,” for the area and the only rainfall we’ve had in more than three weeks.“That gets us a good ways toward replenishing some of the ground water,” which had been depleted by the dry spell, he said.That’s the good news. “The bad news is the beaches took a pounding,” with the high tides and winds eroding shorefronts, he explained.“The worrisome part of that is we have the winter storm season ahead,” said Robinson, and any buffer that the beachfronts may have had for an added bit of protection for between November and March and April storms, is now virtually gone. “And that makes the coast more vulnerable,” he warned.Robinson told of weather predictions for an El Nino weather patterns for the Pacific Ocean. That traditionally results in a more active and severe storm activity for New Jersey. “No guarantee but that’s what’s been known to happen,” he said.“With every storm we’re reminded again and again about sea level rise and the reality of what happens when Mother Nature kicks up our heals,” Zipf observed. “We’re playing touch and go and praying for good weather and that’s no way to conduct public policy for creating sustainable communities.”Robinson agreed and in any face-off “Ultimately, the odds are going to continue to tilt in Mother Nature’s favor.”