How Bad Will It Get? [VIDEO]
Thousands of New Jersey residents spent their first night away from home as Sandy approaches asking,’ “how bad will it get?”
They’ll have plenty of time to consider that question as most schools across the state are closed, thousands of flights have been cancelled by the airlines, public transportation has shut down and non-essential state workers have the day off.
High water has closed the Garden State Parkway in the southbound direction from the Atlantic City Expressway (exit 38) to the road’s end in Cape May. Routes 35 is closed in several sections including Aberdeen and Wall while Route 36 is closed at the Highlands Bridge.
Downed trees have closed lanes on a number of roads around the state due to fallen trees. The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey says the Hudson River crossings are subject to closure at anytime. PennDot indicates the Scutter Falls Bridge on Interstate 95 between NJ and Pennsylvania.
The Delaware River Port Authority says truck traffic will be blocked from the Walt Whitman, Ben Franklin, Betsy Ross and Commodore Barry bridges starting at 2 p.m. Monday.
The Commodore Barry Bridge will be closed to all traffic when sustained winds reach 50 mph.
The State Office of Emergency Management has requested ambulances be sent to the Atlantic County OEM shelter.
Hurricane Sandy will make landfall late today on New Jersey’s coast as it morphs into an intense low pressure system. Winds across the region will increase quickly late this morning through afternoon as the system gets closer. The strongest winds are expected tonight and may cause power outages for most of the region.
Rain will be heavy at times into tonight.
The National Weather Service in its last update still expresses concern for the high tides on Monday which are expected to produce “moderate to major coastal flooding.” They will occur at approximately 8AM and 8PM up-and-down the coast.
“The two high tides on Monday will be the most dangerous high tides with major to record coastal flooding expected . Between the coastal flooding and expected high winds, the barrier islands will likely be cut off from the mainland during both high tides,” said the NWS.
President Obama has has signed an emergency declaration for New Jersey that will allow the state to request federal funding and other assistance for actions taken in advance of Sandy.
Delaware Governor Jack Markell has ordered that no one will be allowed on Delaware roads after 5AM Monday except for emergency and essential personnel according to WPVI TV.
Most shopping centers are closed including the Quakerbridge Mall in Lawrenceville, Freehold Raceway Mall and the Ocean County Mall in Toms River.
PSE+G, JCP+L and Atlantic City Electric are confident they are ready for the cleanup when Sandy passes. PSE&G says they have secured 653 line workers from other utilities to assist PSE&G’s 600 linemen in restoring power along with extra tree contractors to clear damaged trees and limbs from power lines. Atlantic City Electric reports the activation of all its field personnel including utility crews from states as far away as Alabama and Louisiana to assist with restoring power. JCP+L has 400 linemen and 1,200 additional line personnel from as far away as Florida, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan and Ohio en route.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.