Long Branch: Supermarkets and hardware storm were doing brisk business today as area residents prepared for Hurricane Sandy. The hurricane, nicknamed Frankenstorm, is looking more and more likely to impact the Jersey Shore with NOAA track predictions taking the storm up to the Atlantic Coast and then taking a sharp turn to the West-Northwest. Worst case scenario is a direct hit in the Monmouth County area.
The storm is currently a Category 1 storm with sustained winds of 75mph, located a few hundred miles off the Florida coastline. Conditions are expected to deteriorate late Sunday with the storm slowly moving through the Northeast. The National Weather Service is not expecting the storm to weaken much before making landfall and because of its slow movement flooding, heavy rain and high winds are expected to last for 2-3 days. Unlike Hurricane Irene which racked the area in 2011, was a short-lived wind and rain event compared to what the region should expect with Sandy.
WORDontheShore towns are preparing for the storm with offices of emergency management mobilizing and putting into place emergency plans to deal with storm damage, possible evacuations and responding to 911 emergency calls during the event. West Long Branch has already alerted residents to prepare for power outages in the borough that could last for several days.
Portable generators are in short supply in area stores and residents can expect that supplies won't be stock leading up to and immediately after the storm. Batteries and lamp oil have also flown off shelves, but may still be available for purchase.
Residents are urged to prepare in advance for Hurricane Sandy. Food and water should be stocked for family members and pets, medicines should be filled, gas tanks should be topped off and any outside furniture and other items should be safely stored.
Anyone living in flood prone areas and along waterfront property should be prepared in the event mandatory evacuations are issued. Monmouth County OEM will notify residents of evacuations and if and when shelters are opened