Forecasters tracking Hurricane Irene say New Jersey’s coastal areas should prepare for a dose of high winds and heavy rain this weekend.
Thursday, Governor Chris Christie declared a state of emergency. He said the storm is a “serious and significant” event, with the threat of flooding across the state. New Jersey State Police Superintendent Rick Fuentes said it looks like the eye of the storm will pass close to Cape May on Saturday.”The barrier islands that are concentrated in Atlantic County and Cape May County are going to be subject to some very high winds,” he said. “They’re going to be subject to a storm surge which may run as much as seven to 12 feet.”
The governor said Thursday night that tolls will be temporarily suspended on the Garden State Parkway south of the Raritan River and the Atlantic City Expressway beginning at 8 a.m. Friday to ease evacuations.
Christie said Routes 47 and 347 in Cape May County will be closed to eastbound traffic and all lanes will be used to move traffic westward beginning at 6 p.m. Friday. He said police will tightly control access to those highways to ensure motorists’ safety.