Frankenstorm could strike New Jersey

Forecasters say there’s increasing confidence that Hurricane Sandy could pose a threat to New Jersey.

The National Weather Service says it all depends on how Sandy tracks as it transitions into a large coastal storm and moves northward along the East Coast. 

On Friday Gov. Chris Christie directed his cabinet to get ready for a coordinated response to the potential impact of Hurricane Sandy. 

There’s the potential for heavy rain, strong winds, rough seas, beach erosion and coastal flooding beginning Sunday and into early next week.

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However, forecasters say the impact will depend on how Sandy interacts with a deepening upper level low pressure system that’s approaching the coast.

Meanwhile those who live and work near the Jersey Shore were busy Friday preparing for the storm.

While some boats are still going out into the Atlantic from the Manasquan Inlet, others are heading for land.

Jim Matthews, who owns the fishing trawler “Jamie Mae,” tied the boat up to the dock in Point Pleasant Beach until the storm goes by Monday or Tuesday.

“The surge is what breaks things, you know, the back and forth. As long as you got enough ropes to keep the boats from moving you should be all right,” Matthews said. “We have been in other good storms. So I’m not really concerned about it right now.”

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‘Nothing wrong with being over-prepared’

Point Pleasant Beach municipal workers were installing silt fences on the beach to prevent sand from washing up on the boardwalk.

“We did get off pretty easy for Irene,” said Jim Trout, superintendent of public works. “And my gut tells me, and I suspect, we’ll get off just as easy this time. But there’s nothing wrong with being over-prepared.”

Residents who live near the ocean were securing outside furniture and decorations — and are hoping the storm won’t force them to leave home.

Sue Kellers, who has lived less than a block from the ocean in Point Pleasant Beach for more than 60 years, says storms are part of the allure of living at the shore.

“As beautiful as it is, you can hear the waves crashing and it’s just a force of nature that can’t be controlled,” she said. “So living through that, hopefully, is exciting.”

Jersey Central Power & Light, which was criticized for its response to a major storm last year, says it has placed its employees on alert to be prepared for extended shifts and is monitoring Sandy.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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