STATE – This afternoon, Gov. Chris Christie reiterated his call for all residents and visitors to the New Jersey barrier islands in Cape May, Atlantic and Ocean counties to leave for safer locations before Hurricane Irene reaches the state. He warned that the storm brings the potential for record flooding and told residents, “you stay there at the risk of your life.”
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.
No eastbound traffic into Atlantic City will be allowed after 6 p.m. this evening, and casino gaming will be shut down at noon tomorrow.
The Garden State Parkway will be closed to southbound traffic south of Exit 98 after 8 p.m. tonight. All NJ Transit rail service will be suspended at noon tomorrow.
In addition, Motor Vehicle Commission offices in Atlantic, 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.
The American Red Cross recommends that you assemble the following items:
- Water – one gallon per person, per day.
- Food – non-perishable, easy-to-prepare items such as tuna fish, peanut butter, crackers, and canned fruit. Make sure to include a manual can opener.
- A battery-powered or hand-crank radio, flashlight and plenty of extra batteries.
- A first aid kit.
- Prescription and non-prescription medication items. Include medical supplies like extra hearing aid batteries, syringes, etc.
- Copies of important documents, including birth certificates, insurance policies and social security cards.
- Sanitation and personal hygiene items.
- Extra cash. ATMs and credit cards won’t work if the power is out.
- Special items for infant, elderly or disabled family members.
- One blanket or sleeping bag per person.
- Pet supplies (collar, leash, ID, food, carrier, bowls).
Locally, municipalities in Union and Middlesex counties are making their own preparations.
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
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