Storm time: NJ counties prepping for wrath of Isaias
Hope for the best, prepare for the worst.
County emergency management departments across the Garden State are bracing for the potential impacts of drenching rains and fierce winds forecast through Tuesday, courtesy of Tropical Storm Isaias.
Power outages, flash and river flooding, and even tornadoes, are in the cards through Tuesday evening, depending on where you are in the state — the Tropical Storm Warning as of late Monday included all 21 New Jersey counties.
"We've already stood up our Emergency Operations Center, we have had conference calls, and we are putting together communications to make sure our residents are ready to weather the storm," Nathan Rudy, public information director for Somerset County, said Monday.
Residents there are encouraged to have on hand 72 hours' worth of food supplies, and medication if necessary.
"Unfortunately we've gotten real good at sheltering in place through COVID-19, and this is just another instance where we're going to have to do it," Rudy said.
Wind gusts, according to chief meteorologist Dan Zarrow, could top 50 mph throughout much of the Garden State. Along the shore, gusts topping 70 mph are possible during the peak of the storm.
"We repositioned some high-water vehicles ... that we use for any type of rescues that we may have to do," Monmouth County Sheriff Shaun Golden told New Jersey 101.5. "We don't anticipate any evacuations or sheltering to take place."
Coastal flooding is expected to be minimal. Backbay and river flooding is the more pressing concern, Golden said.
"A lot of our shore towns that are prone to flooding in the backbay areas — those residents are aware," Golden said.
The coronavirus pandemic has added a new storm-protection measure to the typical approach in New Jersey. Due to the anticipated heavy winds, officials are urging restaurateurs to secure or stow away any umbrellas, tables, chairs and coverings they may have on site for outdoor dining purposes.
Contact reporter Dino Flammia at firstname.lastname@example.org.