Thursday, August 25, 2011

Gov. Christie declares state of emergency, urges visitors to leave the coast by Friday afternoon

With the impending threat of Hurricane Irene this weekend, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie officially declared a state of emergency this afternoon.

In making the announcement, he deemed the storm a "serious, significant event" and stated that mandatory evacuations may be enforced if residents and visitors do not heed the state's warnings.

Addressing those planning to visit the shore this weekend, Christie simply said: "Do not go."

He also urged vacationers already staying at points along the coast to leave by midday tomorrow (Friday).

"Do not try to ride it out. It is not the smart thing to do."

The latest projections have Irene, passing through the Bahamas today and heading toward the North Carolina coast, attacking the Jersey coastline on Sunday.While the storm may not come ashore as a hurricane, it will still be close enough to cause major problems, including widespread flooding, downed trees, and power outages.

The situation has been complicated by rainy conditions today (brought on by a system unrelated to Irene), which is already causing flooding in some areas.

At 3 p.m. today, the Cape May County Office of Emergency Management will be holding a press conference to address plans for the impending storm.

It will be carried live on 98.7 The Coast FM and streamed on the station's website.

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