NJ Braces For Irene’s Arrival

Updated at 12:06 p.m., Aug. 26, 2011

STATE – Last night, Gov. Chris Christie reinforced his call for all residents and visitors to the New Jersey barrier islands and shore areas to leave for safer locations before Hurricane Irene reaches the state.

Tolls on all parts of the Garden State Parkway south of the Raritan River and the Atlantic City Expressway have been temporarily suspended to make the evacuation easier, and Routes 47 and 347 in Cape May County will be closed to eastbound traffic and will use all lanes to move traffic westward beginning Friday evening at 6 p.m.


Also beginning at 6 p.m. this evening, contraflow will be in effect on Route 72, running for 28 miles to Route 70, closing all lanes to eastbound travel and utilizing all lanes of traffic for use in moving traffic westward to aid residents in evacuating Long Beach Island in Ocean County.

In addition, Motor Vehicle Commission offices in Atlantic, Cape May, Cumberland, Monmouth, Ocean and Salem counties will close beginning at 4 p.m. today until further notice. To aid New Jerseyans whose licenses will expire at the end of the month, the MVC will also provide an extension until Sept. 10 for renewals on expired drivers licenses, identification cards, vehicle registrations and inspections effective Sept. 1.

The state Office of Emergency Management is coordinating with every county as they mobilize preparations at the county and local level. For further information about safety precautions, evacuation routes and best practices, go to ready.nj.gov.

Perth Amboy is preparing for the storm and has arranged shelter locations that will be made available if necessary. For more information, call 1-732-442-4400.

City officials advised residents to keep vehicles clear of areas with trees and other items that may potentially cause vehicle damage. The following lots are open for parking on Saturday evening and Sunday:

  • (1) YMCA Parking Lot on 365 New Brunswick Ave,
  • (2) Train Station,
  • (3) Parking Deck on Jefferson and New Brunswick Ave.,
  • (4) Lot B- Library parking lot,
  • (5) Hobart Street Lot and three Jefferson St. parking lots [(6) Lot A- next to Post Office, (7) Lot C- behind Rite Aid, and (8) NBST Lot- between New Brunswick Ave and State Street].

Officials remind residents that Perth Amboy is not responsible for any damage caused to vehicles parked on municipal lots or streets and asks that cars be moved before 8 a.m. on Monday morning.

If you experience a power outage or to report a live wire, contact PSE&G at 1-800-436-PSEG. For all non-emergencies, Perth Amboy residents should call 1-732-442-4400. For emergencies, dial 9-1-1.

The Woodbridge Township Office of Emergency Management is closely
monitoring predicted storm conditions in anticipation of Hurricane Irene.

Residents and business-owners in the flood-prone areas of Crampton Avenue, Watson Avenue, Heidelberg Avenue, Vesper Avenue, Pearl Avenue, and Von Vetchen Avenue in Woodbridge proper and residents in the Ideal Home Park and surrounding areas in Avenel (East Coddington Street, St. Mary Way, Jay Street, Freddie Alison Drive, Joey Lane, Jessie Lane, Christina Drive, Helen Ave. and Coke Avenue) are reminded to move
vehicles to higher ground and to be prepared to undertake emergency procedures should the Woodbridge Township Office of Emergency Management issue specific storm-related warnings.

Woodbridge official are also encouraging residents to develop a storm plan in the event of an evacuation notice and to stock-up on non-perishable foods, bottled water, batteries, and a battery-operated radio.

Carteret officials reminded residents to remove umbrellas, flags, banners, and any other yard item that could become airborne and inspect gutters, downspouts, and drains before the storm hits. Turn off gas to outside grills or gaslights and turn off breakers to outside lighting and sheds.

Clark has prepared emergency shelters at the First Aid Squad on Raritan Road and the Brewer Gym, located at 430 Westfield Avenue. Township officials will direct anyone who needs to be evacuated and asked residents not to go to the shelters unless directed by the township.

Residents are asked to secure the exterior of their homes and to remove cars from streets where flooding is possible. Non-emergency calls should be directed to 1-732-388-3434 or 1-732-388-3600. For storm information updates, check TV36, AM radio 1700 or www.ourclark.com

“The Red Cross is moving volunteers, vehicles and supplies, getting ready for a response effort that spans nearly the entire East Coast,” said Gail McGovern, president and CEO of the American Red Cross. “While we’re getting ready at the Red Cross, we want everyone in the storm’s path to get ready as well by getting a disaster kit, making a family emergency plan, and listening to local officials regarding evacuations.”

For more information regarding emergency preparedness, visit http://www.ready.nj.gov/plan/kit-plan.html

Rutgers Cooperative Extension offers fact sheets to answer all your questions about the health and safety issues following a flood or storm. Visit  Rutgers Cooperative Extension at http://njaes.rutgers.edu/storm/

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