N.J. is ready for any potential impact from Hurricane Florence, officials say



New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy says the state is prepared for any possible impact from Hurricane Florence, a dangerous cyclone that is on track to slam into somewhere along the Carolinas on Friday.

Speaking at a press conference in Newark with New Jersey State Police Superintendent Col. Patrick J. Callahan, Murphy said state agencies are ready to respond if necessary, even though New Jersey is only expected to experience possibly Florence’s remnants later this week.

The National Weather Service says there’s a potential for heavy rain, gusty onshore winds, and tidal flooding during the end of the week after Florence comes ashore and slowly moves inland through the Carolinas. Locally heavy rain is also possible for the beginning of next week depending on the track of Florence’s remnants.

The governor said that precautions, like ensuring that electric utilities are ready to respond and equipment is readily available to keep roadways clear, are ongoing.

Murphy said any storm threat “is a good time for residents to assess their own overall storm readiness,” recommending a visit to ready.nj.gov.

“Our thoughts in particular are certainly with the people of the Carolinas and Virginia who right now appear to be right in (Hurricane) Florence’s task,” he said.

The governor said the state deployed the New Jersey Task Force 1 to North Carolina Monday evening.

The urban search and rescue team, comprised of 80 volunteers that include firefighters, police officers, doctors, engineers, and more, will be arriving to Kinston, North Carolina Tuesday afternoon, Callahan said.

The governor urged coastal residents to take all necessary precautions and offered an admonition to stay off the beaches.

“Please lord, I won’t repeat the words precisely, but please may I ask you to get off the beach,” he said, alluding to Governor Chris Christie’s infamous “get the hell off the beaches” comment before Hurricane Irene in 2011.