Better safe than sorry, said Gov. Murphy, as he briefed reporters on the state’s preparations for a possible sideswipe from Hurricane Florence. Basically, he said, the state is tracking the storm.
“According to the current forecast, the operative word is current, Florence’s remnants may not move into our area until the weekend, but we still may experience high winds and heavy rains across the state,” said Murphy.
He said the power companies, the transportation sector, and the National Guard are all taking precautionary steps, and that ordinary people should, as well.
“Even though New Jersey is, again, not expected to bear the brunt of Florence, any storm is a good time for residents to assess their own overall storm readiness,” Murphy said.
A million people are under evacuation orders in the Carolinas and Virginia. The storm is being called potentially devastating there, and is expected to make landfall Thursday.
The National Weather Service says New Jersey should be OK.
“The strongest winds and the storm surge looks to stay well south of our area. However, we could see some gusty winds. We’re not expecting anything in the way of tropical storm force winds. That seems pretty unlikely,” said Sarah Johnson, a meteorologist for the National Weather Service Mount Holly.
“As the governor said, we prepare for the worst and hope for the best. I do believe that we’re ready should the weather take a turn, but at this juncture it seems that the track is head on for the Carolinas,” said State Police Superintendent Pat Callahan.
Asked if he had advice for people tempted to use the beach here, Murphy offered his own version of “get the hell off.”
“I won’t repeat the words precisely, but please may I ask you to get off the beach? Pretty please?” Murphy said.
The governor said New Jersey is not going to get a direct hit, but be prepared for high winds and rain between Saturday and Tuesday.