Manchester officials are monitoring Hurricane Sandy as it follows a path that may find it impacting the Jersey Shore Tuesday morning.
"Right now the storm is still too far out, but rest assured it is being monitored very closely by us as well as everyone in the state and county," said Manchester's Emergency Management Coordinator Arthur Abline.
Chief of Police Brian Klimakowski said that basic operations plans are in place. The department will better know how to react as the storm's track becomes more certain over the weekend.
"We're standing by," he said. "As it gets closer we'll figure out what to do."
A concern is that the storm could lead to flooding, a major problem experienced in when Hurricane Irene — a tropical storm when it impacted New Jersey — struck in August 2011.
Numerous Cedar Glen residents were displaced from their homes after more than 2 feet of water entered 12 residences when the northern branch of the Toms River, which borders the edge of the neighborhood, overflowed. Flood waters also surrounded the Pine Lake Park Clubhouse on Morningside and 8th Avenue in the township's Pine Lake Park section.
Abline said that residents in flood-prone areas should consider making arrangements with family and friends on higher ground, or wait until officials have opened shelters.
"After last year's hurricane, a lot of residents from Ocean County were sent to shelters in Monmouth County as all of the county shelters were full or residents from the southern counties," Abline said.
Flooding may be worsened because of the full moon expected on Monday night, said Ocean County Sheriff's Department Chief Michael G. Osborn in a statement issued Thursday.
"If the forecast holds true, we expect to see flooding, downed trees and scattered power outages," he said.
Heeding the advice of emergency officials to keep updated on evacuation routes and road closures — should they be necessary — is something all residents should do, Abline said.
Ocean County Sheriff William L. Polhemus in a statement issued Thursday also advised locals to pay attention to storm developments.
"We advise our residents to stay close to their televisions, radios and computers to learn the latest about this Nor'easter," he said. "This is a very unpredictable storm and conditions may change in the coming days, so it’s important to keep up with the latest information."
Residents can begin to secure outdoor furniture and loose objects which may become airborne should the storm produce high winds, Klimakowski said.
To prepare for the potential storm, Abline said that residents should have:
- A battery operated radio and extra batteries on hand
- 1 gallon of drinking water per person, per day for cooking, drinking and sanitary issues
- Sleeping bags, blankets, pillows and extra dry clothing, socks, shoes, etc.
- Snacks and non-perishable foods, a manual can opener, etc.
- Games for the children to play
- Important household documents, insurance papers, list of valuables, etc.
- Medication — make sure you have enough to get you through the disaster and beyond espceially if you live in a flood prone area
- Take your household pets with you and enough food, water and any medication they may be on
- A full tank of gas in their vehicle
- Cash on hand, especially if the power is out and make not be restored for a period ot time