Atlantic County under state of emergency effective 6am, Oct. 27. Residents urged to relocate.
ATLANTIC CITY, NEW JERSEY — A report from Ship Bottom, New Jersey, posted on the Wall Street Journal blog just after 6:30pm on Saturday states that Hurricane Sandy is strengthening as it heads up north from the Caribbean — where the storm-related death toll was at 58, according to reports.
Update, 9:40pm, Sat., Oct. 27:
Latest: Winds to pound New Jersey shore up the East Coast to Long Island Sound Monday afternoon through Tuesday. Winds expected to be heaviest Monday evening.
At 9:30pm, Saturday night, weather forecasters are predicting that the storm surge expected for the New Jersey shore could cause waters to rise 4-8 feet.
Meanwhile, an evacuation order has been given by Gov. Chris Christie for the barrier islands from Sandy Hook south to Cape May, including Atlantic City, by 4pm (EST) Sunday, Oct. 28.
Christie has ordered gaming to be suspended in Atlantic City at 3pm Sunday and the casinos there to be evacuated by 4pm.
At a Wawa in nearby Somers Point Saturday night, there were still bags of ice in the cooler and plenty of milk and other domestic items. An employee there said that there had been no word from the corporate office regarding a shut down of the store on Sunday or at any time as of yet.
Some customers in the store were discussing the possibility of businesses in Atlantic County being ordered to close on Sunday.
The aclink.org Atlantic County government Web site has the following information regarding the state of emergency in effect for the county:
Atlantic County Declares State of Emergency - Effective 6 AM, October 27
Effective 6 AM, Saturday, October 27, 2012, a state of emergency is in effect in Atlantic County in preparation for Hurricane Sandy which threatens to impact our area within the next few days with heavy rain, extensive flooding and beach erosion, and sustained winds of 74 mph or higher over a period of 24-48 hours.
Residents are urged to prepare for this powerful and potentially dangerous storm that is expected to cause downed trees and wires resulting in extended power outages. Make plans to relocate with family or friends should evacuations be ordered. Prepare an emergency kit with several days supplies, including identification documents, prescription medications in labeled containers, necessary baby items and pet supplies, toiletries, change of clothes, etc.
If orders to evacuate are issued, the county will provide several shelters, however these should be a last option as they offer very basic provisions. And due to the magnitude of this storm, it may necessitate a stay of several days. Pet-friendly shelters will only accept pets in carriers with their own supply of food.
Residents who require assistance should contact their local office of emergency management. Contact numbers are provided on www.ReadyAtlantic.org and in the Verizon phone book. You may also access this information by calling the county's emergency information hotline at 1-866-704-4636.
The state of emergency will remain in effect until further notice to allow officials to employ resources and assets necessary to prepare for and respond to the impending storm. There is no travel ban in effect at this time.
The post notes that the U.S. National Weather Service "said the storm was expected to make landfall early Tuesday near the Delaware coast, then hit two winter weather systems as it moves inland, creating a hybrid monster storm that could bring torrential rain, high winds, and up to two feet of snow."
The article also states that an "800-mile wide swath of the country could see 50 mph winds regardless of Sandy's strength," even if the deadly and potentially history-making storm weakens before it hits its projected target, which may include the Atlantic City region.
"We should not underestimate the impact of this storm and not assume the predictions will be wrong," Christie said during a press briefing on Saturday in North Middletown, related to the serious nature of the storm and its potentially devastating effects along the New Jersey coast. "We have to be prepared for the worst."
The post also quotes Jeff Masters, meteorology director of the forecasting service Weather Underground, adding that "this storm could be as big, perhaps bigger, than the worst East Coast storm on record, a 1938 New England hurricane that is sometimes known as the Long Island Express, which killed nearly 800 people."
"It's looking like a very serious storm that could be historic," Masters said.
The Atlantic County government Web site (aclink.org) is a good resource for updates on the hurricane as well as storm preparedness tips.
According to a live blog on the Christian Science Monitor Web site, as of 6:30pm:
"Tropical storm conditions are expected to reach warning areas in the Carolinas within the next few hours, spreading northward tonight and Sunday. Gale force winds are expected to arrive along portions of the Mid-Atlantic coast by late Sunday or Sunday night and reach Long Island and southern New England by Monday morning. Winds to near-hurricane force could reach the Mid-Atlantic states, including Long Island, by late Monday.
"Rainfall totals of 3-6 inches are expected over far eastern North Carolina with isolated maximum totals of 8 inches possible. Rainfall amounts of 4-8 inches are expected over portions of the Mid-Atlantic states, including the Del-Mar-Va peninsula, with isolate maximum amounts of 12 inches possible. Rainfall amounts of 1-3 inches with isolated maximum amounts of 5 inches are possible across parts of southern New York into New England.
"Dangerous surf conditions will continue from Florida through the Carolinas for the next couple of days and spread in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeastern states by Sunday.
“'Our latest projected path takes the center of Sandy into the Northeast coast between Long Island and the Del-Mar-Va Peninsula,' reports the Weather Channel. 'However, it is very important to not focus on the center of our projected path map since the major impacts will extend across a wide area well away from where Sandy's center eventually moves inland. The impacts will range from widespread destructive winds, heavy rainfall and storm surge flooding to even heavy, wet snow.'"
"I could almost guarantee that the ones who wanted the mayors to let them return home would also be the ones to protest if they had been put in danger by returning too soon. "
Obama: "I want to thank all the first responders who have been involved in this process -- the linesmen, the firefighters, the folks who were in here shuttling out people who were supposed to 'get the hell out' and didn’t."
Obama: "You had a 15-year-old young man whose mother was disabled, and he was making sure that she was okay, and taking on extraordinary responsibilities for himself but also for his mom."
The latest Sandy storm coverage for the Atlantic City, New Jersey area.
Gov. Christie gives Sunday evening press conference urging residents of the Garden State to heed advice of officials and stay at home Monday unless they have already evacuated.
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie says he is trying to mitigate any damages in the state due to Hurricane Sandy, which has been blamed for the deaths of at least 58 people in the Caribbean as of Sunday afternoon.
According to the report, "Each New Jersey power company gave out a slightly different power outage estimate, but the longest outages during Hurricane Irene were seven or eight days, said Greg Reinerk, a spokesman for the state Board of Public Utilities
By the time the southern New Jersey shore region woke up Sunday morning, there was a collective sigh of relief as Hurricane Irene made landfall early in the morning, resulting in much less than flooding and damage — and power outages — than initially anticipated.
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