Hurricane Irene New Jersey: One Million Evacuated, Atlantic City in Danger

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on August 27 2011 2:34 PM

 

New Jersey governor Chris Christie announced one million people have been evacuated ahead of Hurricane Irene, but still worried about residents staying behind -- specifically in Atlantic City.

In a Saturday press conference, Christie said that one million New Jersey residents have evacuated their homes, including 90 percent of Cape May Co., but remains worried about stubborn residents refusing to leave their homes.

Christie noted that some Atlantic City residents, predominantly senior citizens, have refused to heed Christie's warnings to leave the area. The governor plans to deploy state police and OEM officials to try to get the citizens to reconsider.

Allow us to help protect you, Christie told senior citizens.

The state will send buses to the Atlantic City area as officials plan to meet with each remaining citizen individually to try to get everyone in the area to leave. Christie admitted he couldn't arrest anyone that refused to leave, but that it'd be much safer to get out of the area.

Atlantic City is in danger due to its close proximity to both the ocean and a bay. The city, known for its casinos, has a famous boardwalk and pier right on the water that could succumb to flooding from storm surges.

The city voluntarily shut down this weekend for just the third time in 33 years.

Christie is worried that senior citizens near the water in high-rise apartments could be in a lot of danger if the storm hits with winds upwards of 75 mph, as expected.

The state has scattered 1500 National Guard soldiers throughout dangerous regions, hoping to move residents to safe shelters.

The state is planning on using sports arenas and stadiums as shelters, but has already experienced a few hiccups. Last night residents sheltered in the Sun Center in Trenton, the state's capital, were forced to sleep in the arena's seats, as cots had not been prepared yet.

In other shelters throughout the state, some complained of the poor overall conditions of the state.

Yavor Tenev, a native of Bulgaria, who works a summer job in Ocean City, told reporters: There are a lot of people in there [evacuation shelter].

Another evacuee complained: It's freezing in there. There is nowhere to sleep, only places for the elderly and sick.

Christie said that the main point of the shelters is to keep people safe, dry, and keep them fed and hydrated.

On Friday Christie told Jersey residents to get the hell off the beach, as Irene continued her ascent up the East Coast.

Cape May County and low-lying areas of Atlantic, Monmouth, and Ocean counties have been evacuated.

 

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