Friday, August 26, 2011
Christie: Don't Wait, Evacuate Barrier Islands
New Jersey Governor Chris Christie has once again reinforced his strong call urging all residents and visitors to the New Jersey barrier islands and shore areas to leave for safer locations. Following a briefing at the Regional Operations Intelligence Center, Governor Christie signed a Declaration of a State of Emergency for New Jersey and called on people already at the shore to begin to leave immediately and advised anyone who has shore rentals or was planning to go to the shore this weekend not to go. It is important residents and visitors heed the advice and direction being given by the New Jersey Office of Emergency Management (OEM). In order to conduct an orderly evacuation of the coastline and barrier islands, residents and visitors should begin evacuating tomorrow if they have not already done so.
The Governor is calling on people to leave voluntarily and in order to support these coast evacuations is authorizing several measures that will make evacuation easier. The Governor is temporarily suspending tolls on all parts of the Garden State Parkway south of the Raritan River and the Atlantic City Expressway beginning at 8:00 a.m. Friday morning. Furthermore, 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 6:00 pm. As part of this process, all ramps will be tightly controlled and additional personnel will be used to ensure safety.
Additionally, the state OEM is coordinating with every county as they mobilize preparations at the county and local level. Any request for assistance must come through from the local to the county up through the state OEM in order to ensure there is a real-time, coordinate response.