12:35pm Sunday Update: What you need to know as Hermine arrives in New Jersey
Hermine is now considered a post-tropical cyclone as of Saturday, according to the National Hurricane Center. As the storm heads for New Jersey in what appears to be a couple day stay for Hermine, we will keep you posted on-air and online on both the storms progress from Meteorologist Dan Zarrow and officials around New Jersey.
Sunday morning we woke up to some surprising conditions, with sun and a light wind but Meteorologist Dan Zarrow adds it's not going to last as the winds should pick up again.
"Post-Tropical Cyclone Hermine has shifted a little bit further east this morning that absolutely reduces the risk for heavy rain and damaging winds, however the coastal flooding threat still looks pretty serious," explains Zarrow. "The peak of the storm surge now looks to be the time of high-tide late Monday morning, 1-3 feet of surge still expected to cause moderate to major flooding along the Jersey Shore."
In Toms River, public works crews are continuing to shore up the dunes according to Township OEM Coordinator Paul Daley,who adds the dunes are in their best shape post-Sandy.
But while things look calm now, "tomorrow (Monday) night is going to be the tell tale sign of how it's really going to be," explains Daley who adds, "that's going to be the highest flooding at high tide and that's what were concerned about."
However Daley says it's not yet time to call for anyone to evacuate but says to prepare as much just in case, "definitely move your cars to higher ground if your in a flood prone area."
Right now he says "there's very little if any erosion," and adding "public works has put up extra sand against the dunes and the tides barely touched that in most spots."
With the heavy winds and other effects of the storm still possible and the peak of hurricane season upon us, he adds moving forward they are prepared, "unfortunately we've done this five or six times where we have had emergency appropriations and we actually bring in thousands of trucks if we have to, of sand to rebuild the dunes."
With a tropical storm warning in effect, Atlantic County Director of the Department of Public Safety Vince Jones says down there as of late Sunday morning winds were picking up, as well as heavy waves and rip currents which he expects to increase.
"The concern for us is the tides," said Jones, who adds with a high tide expected traveling may be a challenging in Monday morning, but crews have been on site building up the dunes.
"The public works department has been down there," said Jones, who adds of the "beaches that do have dunes, they're making sure those dunes will be able to sustain any heavy wave action that we do receive."
"Our problems that occur with these types of systems is the back-bay area where water's held in and it just continues to rise," said Jones who explains the water then spills over the bulkheads and into streets and residences.
With the peak of the Atlantic Hurricane season upon us, planning for these types of storms is something they do in advance.
"We don't drop our guard, we still plan accordingly whether it's a small storm or if it's a big storm like Superstorm Sandy," said Jones. "We still take the same precautions, and still warn individuals in those threatened areas."
The most challenging part of all this is getting everyone else to do the same thing, he adds and making sure when warnings are issued on storms, residents adhere to them.
A state of emergency was issued by Governor Chris Christie Saturday afternoon for Atlantic, Cape May, and Ocean Counties ahead of the storm, as they look to be the three hardest hit by Hermine.
Barnegat officials issued a voluntary evacuation Saturday particularly for residents by the lagoon and bayfront areas. Ocean Gate Mayor Paul Kennedy also issued an executive order for all boats and flotation devices be removed from the water and asked residents in flood prone areas to move their cars to higher ground.
Brick Township beaches are also closed through Labor Day on Monday as a result of the storms arrival. Island Beach State Park is also closed thru Monday because of the storm.
Jersey Central Power and Light (JCP&L) officials are prepared and ready to go for any outages which may occur. There is also a list of tips for you to continue storm prep and advice on things to do or not do during the storm by clicking here.
If you do lose power over the course of the storm or you see downed wires they add you can call 1-888-LIGHTSS (1-888-544-4877) but to NOT go near downed lines, as they may still carry electricity.
Meanwhile New Jersey Natural Gas has put together a list in a release of what you should or shouldn't do before, during and after the storm:
- Check around the outside of your house for any loose items that could blow around and damage your house.
- DO NOT attempt to turn natural gas service off at the meter. Natural gas is distributed through underground pipelines; in most cases, your service should continue without interruption. Natural gas service should only be turned on or off by utility personnel.
- If you smell natural gas, immediately leave the premises and call 800-GAS-LEAK (800-427-5325) from a safe location.
- DO NOT use a lighter or telephone; switch on/off appliances, lights or even a flashlight on the premises where you smell natural gas as they can create a spark.
- DO NOT attempt to turn off your natural gas service at the meter. The valve should be turned on or off by emergency utility personnel only.
- DO NOT extinguish or re-ignite a pilot light on your appliances. In the event a pilot light goes out, call a qualified plumber, contractor or NJNG for a safety inspection.
- Should water get into your heating system and /or water heater, or if your natural gas meter is damaged by fallen debris, call our 24-hour response line at 800-GAS-LEAK (427-5325).
- Ensure there is a clear path to your natural gas meter and regulator and keep the area around them free of obstructions; and make sure the meter, piping and vents are clear, visible and accessible at all times to allow easy access by NJNG employees and first responders in case of an emergency.
Make sure you have backup generators, plenty of food and water, and whatever you need to ride out the storm and be safe.
As Hermine enters into New Jersey over the next couple of days, send us your weather photos or videos to share with the community. However, we by no means want you to put yourself or others in danger by doing so or break any laws.
This post will be updated throughout the storm, but stay tuned on-air and online as we provide updates.