Gov. Phil Murphy said New Jersey will “prepare for the worst” and “hope for the best” as the state makes emergency preparations for Hurricane Florence - even though the storm isn't expected to hit New Jersey directly when it swipes the state this weekend.
The governor, at a Tuesday afternoon press conference at Newark’s Gateway center, said the southern counties of Cape May, Cumberland and Salem could feel the “greatest impact” of the storm from “high winds and heavy rains.”
Murphy also said that much of the state could easily feel the brunt of the storm, since much of the ground is “still saturated from the past month of rain.”
“If you think you’re going to lose power, stock up on essentials,” Murphy said. “If you’re near the water, treat that with care.”
The Governor, flanked by New Jersey State Police Colonel Patrick Callahan, said his entire cabinet has been making emergency preparations.
The Board of Public Utilities is working with electrical service providers to make sure they can respond to outages. The Department of Transportation is making sure its service stations along the New Jersey Turnpike, Garden State Parkway and Atlantic City Expressway are stocked with fuel and equipment. And the National Guard has vehicles and equipment on standby to reduce response time should the need arise.
“Hopefully we’re going to only be dealt a glancing blow,” Murphy said.
Hurricane Florence, now a Category 4, is expected to make landfall over North Carolina, forcing thousands of residents to evacuate.
Asked if people should even consider a beach trip this weekend, Murphy responded “please God, be careful,” asking people to “pretty please” stay off the beach.
New Jerseyans can go to ready.nj.gov and download the state’s hurricane survival guide, Murphy said. The state will provide live updates on the site.