While Hurricane Joaquin’s Projected Path is Uncertain, Preparations are Being Made

By Lauren Wanko

“Get supplies that you need in, do the things that you would normally do, especially now I’m speaking to our folks in the Southern part of the state in Atlantic, Cape May, Cumberland and Salem counties. I need all of you to begin to prepare today,” said Gov. Chris Christie.

Storm prep was the focus this morning of Christie’s press conference.

“Whether or not Joaquin is a direct issue for New Jersey by Monday, we need know that there is definitely going to be moderate and likely to be major flooding event in South Jersey on Friday and Saturday, with five to six inches of rainfall expected to come over those two days. Right now the weather reports are not encouraging, I will consider evacuations if necessary,” said Christie.

The State of Emergency Operations Center was activated at 6 a.m. this morning. Some of the storm preparations include the NJDOT inspection and cleaning of drainage systems, emergency contractors have been put on alert. Debris removal equipment has been prepositioned, among other things. Christie says they’ve contacted all water supply and waste water facilities. The Department of Health has reached out to hospitals and other medical facilities.

“The NJ Board of Public Utilities is been in active discussion with PSE&G, JCP&L and Atlantic City Electric and leadership to ensure their companies are prepared for the storm,” Christie said.

Along the shore, communities hit by Sandy are bracing for the worst. Belmar Mayor Matt Doherty insists they’ve learned valuable lessons from the devastating Superstorm.

“We’re better prepared for this storm than any storm before,” said Doherty.

Tuesday night the Belmar DPW began pumping out Lake Como in an effort to lower the water as much as possible. They don’t want these homes to flood like they did during Superstorm Sandy.

“I think everyone in the neighborhood, they’re afraid. Once you’ve been through Sandy the fear you know it’s just well it, words cannot describe,” said Marth Maselqo

In 2014 the Army Corps of Engineers completed a beach replenishment project in Belmar says the mayor.

“That allowed us to use our own bulldozers and create these dunes you see behind me over the last 48 hours,” Doherty said.

The McCormicks’ lost their ocean front home to Sandy. They just finished rebuilding.

“We’re trying to get everything off the porch, so nothing goes through the windows. I’m really hoping it doesn’t come, but we should be prepared if it does,” said Ann McCormick.

“Last year I put in a whole house generator, so I feel a little safer this year,” said Joe Quigg.

Still this shore resident’s hoping he doesn’t have to use that generator, something just about everyone along the coast can agree with.