More than a little bit, it appeared.
With snow posing no real threat, the focus in South Jersey shifted to the Shore, where the storm, which had drifted out to sea, hammered beaches with wind and waves.
The National Weather Service was warning that moderate flooding was possible in Ocean County and points north yesterday, but the agency lifted its coastal flood warning south of Little Egg Harbor, just above Atlantic City.
Officials reported only minor erosion along the coast.
Michael Schurman, a spokesman for Atlantic County, said officials were relieved that the wind had apparently shifted to the northwest by yesterday morning, meaning the shoreline would likely take less of a pounding than had been predicted.
"But we are certainly still remaining vigilant, because you never know what will happen with a storm like this," Schurman said.
High tides yesterday afternoon and into today were expected to be about seven feet above normal, according to the weather service.
And as the afternoon marched toward that first high tide, residents and officials at the Shore continued to take precautions in the event of problems with flooding: sandbagging storefronts, moving vehicles to higher ground, and shoring up boat moorings.
A state of emergency declared by acting Gov. Donald Donald T. DiFrancesco placed 270 National Guard members on standby, their large-wheeled, five-ton trucks ready if evacuations and other measures became necessary, Maj. Ed Benish said.
Officials, in the meantime, were looking ahead to Saturday, when another storm could chew away at beaches.
While the latest storm did not cause panic among residents, many of whom have seen nor'easters come and go, the threat inspired plenty of preparation - and introspection.
"When I heard that they thought this storm could be like '62, it brought back a lot of memories," said Frank Bowen, 76, of Ship Bottom, Long Beach Island. "And none of them were good."
In March 1962, a nor'easter killed 14 people and destroyed hundreds of homes at the Shore. Long Beach Island was hit especially hard, as millions of dollars in property washed out to sea. The tiny town of Loveladies, on a particularly narrow section of the 18-mile-long island, all but disappeared.
Bowen remembered how friends who had a home in Loveladies rode out the storm by staying with the Bowen family, who lived in Manahawkin.
"When it was over, when they were allowed back, they went and looked, and their house was gone. The foundation and everything was gone, like it had never even been there," Bowen said. "When you see Mother Nature do something like that, you never forget it."
This time, before it became apparent that the storm's reputation would exceed its punch, the weather prompted a shutdown of New Jersey's state government and courts.
DiFrancesco declared the state of emergency before anything happened because he believed "the best course of action is to keep people off the road," spokesman Tom Wilson said.
"The problem is not getting to work. It's getting home from work," Wilson said, recalling recent storms that brought the region to a halt during the evening rush hour.
Meanwhile, South Jersey schoolchildren, who had been banking on a snow day all weekend, instead attended classes, although some got to go home early thanks to weather jitters apparently rekindled by a brief burst of snowfall.
Among the districts closing early were Cherry Hill, Voorhees, Deptford, and Kingsway Regional, which includes Gloucester County students from East Greenwich, Logan, South Harrison, Swedesboro and Woolwich.
Gloucester County also sent all nonessential workers home about 1 p.m. because of icy roads. The City of Camden declared a snow emergency Saturday night, ordering that all snow-emergency routes be cleared of parked vehicles.
McGuire Air Force Base in Burlington County suspended flights in anticipation of the storm.
For residents such as Frank Adams of Franklinville, Gloucester County, the latest storm - or at least the threat of it - spelled opportunity.
Adams, a member of the South Jersey Metal Detecting Club, drove to Sea Isle City on Sunday and booked a hotel room for two nights.
Yesterday morning found Adams, dressed in Eagles-green wet gear, sporting a team hat and gloves, his glasses misted and speckled in the rain, sweeping the beach with his detector.
Powerful storms, he said, can temporarily strip away three or four feet of sand and bring closer to the surface coins, jewelry and other metal objects that had been lost years ago.
But the latest blow, the retired AT&T equipment installer said, had barely shifted six inches of sand.
"This one didn't do it - yet," Adams said, setting his sights for another search after yesterday afternoon's high tide.
Jacqueline Urgo's e-mail address is email@example.com.
Contributing to this article were staff writer Joseph Gambardello and Inquirer suburban staff writers Brendan January, Jake Wagman, Angela Valdez, Will Van Sant and Marc Levy.