Shelters being readied for evacuees

EWING – Following up on his call for evacuations earlier today, Gov. Chris Christie again has ordered residents of several southern county municipalities to evacuate.

“I want you to go tonight,” he said at a second press briefing regarding evacuation plans before Hurricane Irene strikes the state this weekend.

“I can’t implore you enough. This is a serious storm.”

Storm surges of 4 to 7 feet at high tide on the barrier islands are expected, Christie said.

The Sun Center in Trenton will serve as “a point of transition” to move people from Atlantic City and  barrier islands, before moving them to shelters or elsewhere. The center will hold about 1,500 people.

The IZOD center in North Jersey will also be used as a shelter.

Eighty NJ Transit buses have so far been deployed to assist in the evacuations.

It’s not clear how many residents and visitors are being evacuated, but Christie estimated hundreds of thousands of people.

He urged residents to first go to the homes of relatives, friends, or co-workers before going to shelters, adding they are for people who have absolutely no alternative.

“Shelters should be a place of last resort,” he said, adding that residents should not just go there because they happen to be closer to their houses than relatives may be.

Among the towns he mentioned for evacuation are Brigantine, Margate, Atlantic City, Linwood, and Little Egg Harbor.

He instructed individuals sitting on the beach at Asbury Park, which he saw on the news feeds, to “Get the hell off the beach. It’s 4:30. You’ve maximized your tan.”

He also issued orders to evacuate several Monmouth County towns. They include Keansburg by 8 a.m., Spring Lake by 11 a.m., Asbury Park by noon, Highlands by 5 a.m., Union Beach by 11 a.m.

Three shelters in Monmouth County will be set up. They are Wall Township, Holmdel and Colts Neck high schools.

People who have pets are allowed to bring them to the shelters, but Christie said they must bring their own equipment to look after them.

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Shelters being readied for evacuees