New Jersey Braces For Hurricane Sandy; What A State Of Emergency Means For Residents
Sunday, October 28, 2012 • 12:03pm
SUSSEX COUNTY, NJ - “Confidence continues to increase that our region will see very severe impacts from this storm,” was a statement released by the National Weather Service in Mt. Holly, N.J. on Saturday evening’s briefing, to key emergency personnel.
The National Weather Service in Mt. Holly also said the hurricane is expected to generate “sustained winds 35 to 50 mph over a prolonged period of time (24 to 48 hours), with gusts up to near hurricane strength. Strongest winds are expected south and east of the I-95 corridor.”
Extremely heavy rainfall, major to record inland flooding, and major to record coastal flooding, is also expected.
“The full moon on October 29 just makes things worse,” the National Weather Service in Mt. Holly additionally said.
Governor Christopher Christie issued a State of Emergency yesterday at 11 a.m., with voluntary evacuations beginning then in New Jersey Shore areas, and, mandatory evacuations in many locations beginning on this afternoon.
A State of Emergency, according to the New Jersey State Police is issued when the Governor believes, “a disaster has occurred or may be imminent that is severe enough to require State aid to supplement local resources in preventing or alleviating damages, loss, hardship, or suffering.” During a State of Emergency, the New Jersey Office of Emergency Management (NJOEM), acts on behalf of the Governor, to dispatch resources at the state, local, and private levels. Additionally, the New Jersey State Police, National Guard, New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, and Department of Transportation and Health, are asked to “quickly respond to the event.”
How does a State of Emergency impact New Jersey Residents? For citizens, according to the New Jersey State Police, “The Governor's declaration does not normally restrict citizen movements or activities. The State may limit access to affected areas due to concerns for public safety but will notify the public of these restrictions. If it is necessary to impose vehicular or personal movement restrictions, the New Jersey Office of Emergency Management will alert the public using all available means, including, but not limited to: the Emergency Alert System, urgent press releases, DOT highway signs, law enforcement teletypes, etc. Every effort will be made by NJOEM to facilitate safe passage for utility, health care and emergency services workers whose presence is necessary for public safety or in response to the Emergency.”
- A State of Emergency remains in effect until the Governor lifts it.
- It does not limit the sale or provision of goods or services, however, that may be restricted at the local level.
- The State of Emergency does not mandate employers to compensate employees who are unable to, or choose not to, go to work.
- The declaration does not automatically close State Offices.
- Click here for full information on the New Jersey State Police Website.
The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection released this statement: “All state parks and historic sites will be shut down at noon on Sunday for safety reasons, due to oncoming Hurricane Sandy. Persons who are camping now at state facilities across the state are being advised to prepare to leave those sites by mid-day Sunday, and those with reservations for next week are advised that parks may be closed through the entire week. Persons with reservations will be called by DEP personnel to reschedule their visits to state parks. After the storm passes through the state, the parks and historic sites will be assessed and re-opened on a case-by-case basis.”
Click here to access further information on the New Jersey Division of Parks & Forestry Facebook Page.
Some Sussex County municipalities, have newly released information, or posted additional information, since The Alternative Press article yesterday. (Click here to read the previous article).
Frankford Township – Frankford Township has posted a link to their Facebook Page, where they have indicated they will post information during the emergency. Click here to access.
Town of Newton – Newton’s parks Memory, Pine Street, and Summit Parks are closed for public use, Monday, October 29, through Wednesday, October 31. Municipal Court is canceled October 30.
Vernon Township – The Vernon Township Police Department issued this advisory on its Facebook Page this morning, “Due to the impending heavy rain and high winds, we are advising all residents to make sure all drains are clear of leaves and debris. Also make sure to secure all outdoor furniture and decorations.”
Wantage Township – Wantage Township has now posted the county’s hurricane preparedness information on its webpage. Click here to view.
The Alternative Press will continue to report news on Hurricane Sandy as it becomes available, and The Alternative Press of Sussex County, will post information on its Facebook Page. Click here to view The Alternative Press of Sussex County’s Facebook Page.