Before and after the eye storm passes over, Hurricane Irene will be wreaking havoc.
While tropical systems of this sort often pick up speed and move through our area relatively quickly, right now Hurricane Irene is expected to be a slow mover. This means that devastating winds and bands and pockets of torrential rains will be hammering the area for hours before and after the eye passes over or near New Jersey ort portions of the state such as Monmouth and Ocean counties.
Compunding the problem will be the heavy rains that the area has already experienced in the days before Irene. Those hevy rains have already soaked the area and will only make it harder for the ground to better absorb the heavy rains of Irene.
But the most damaging affects of Hurricane Irene will be its tidal surge. Bays such as Raritan will be seeing a steady flow of wind driven waves fill their basins with abnormally heavy volumes of water. As a result, extremely high tides will bring water further inland and create dangerous flood conditions. Adding to the problem will be extra high tides that will be in place becuase of this weekends full moon.
The state Office of Emergency Management says if Hurricane Irene maintains both its projected track and strength, evacuations of communities along the Jersey shore due to tidal and storm surge flooding, will be be likely.
Shore residents should make sure emergency supply kits for their home and cars are fully stocked. New Jersey residents should also have a plan in place in case of an evacuation order and should stay informed about the threat from the storm.
When local, county or State officials order you to evacuate , they will provide specific information about the roads you should take. Police and first responders will be posted in your community to direct traffic and block roads that are unsafe.
In the meantime, you can a view a county-by-county run down on the evacuation routes nearest you. It is important to remember this though. Do not wait to evacuate at the last minute. New Jersey is the most densely populated state in the nation. That means that with such a heavy concentration of people in such a relatively small space we are prone to traffic jams and you do not want to be fleeing for safety in a ten mile back up on the Garden State Parkway or any of the established evacuation routes.
New Jersey Coastal Evacuation Maps
New Jersey Storm Surge Maps
Hurricane Irene is not something to be taken likely and while some may be feeling that all this discussion about it, is simply increasing anxiety. None of this is meant to inspire fear or to exaggerate the effects of the storm. It is simply meant as a means for you to prepare for the worst, if it should become possible. Currently the worst effects of this storm are very possible and those in its possible path need to be aware of the dangers and do their best to stay informed about its developments and be prepared to take the measures that will help you avoid the worst.