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Christie tells local officials to do whatever’s necessary to mitigate Sandy flooding

Photo Credit: Cliffview Pilot File Photo

YOU READ IT HERE FIRST: Of all the states, New Jersey will be the one to take the worst shot of Hurricane Sandy, but Gov. Christie said this afternoon, “I’m completely confident that we’ll be able to get through this, and we’ll get through this well.

“Property will be damaged. Power will be down. Roads will be closed at times,” Christie said after speaking with President Obama early this afternoon. “But if we all work together, we can minimize the loss of life and support each other.

WATCH:

“The hard reality is: Even if we do everything in our power, we can’t stop the storm and we can’t completely mitigate the effect it’s going to have…. We appear to be taking the brunt of it. If it turns out that it’s not as bad, that will be a happy event for all of us. But I don’t want to see lives lost unnecessarily.”

Measures have been taken to help mitigate the damage, the governor said.

Pompton Lake was lowered five feet — the most ever.

“Gates will be adjusted to maintain the 5-foot level until the rain begins,” Christie said during a news conference this afternoon at the Pompton Lakes Volunteer Fire House.

New York State stopped pre-releasing from Lake DeForest last night, allowing enough water to move through Lake Tappan and the Oradell Reservoir before the storm, he added.

Christie urged local governments to do whatever’s needed to clear waterways in an attempt to mitigate anticipated flooding from Sandy — including de-snagging rivers.

“Act first and worry about the DEP later,” the governor said. “This is one of those times that uses one of my favorite sayings: It’s easier to ask for forgiveness instead of permission.”

Mandatory evacuations will began at 4 o’clock for the barrier islands from Sandy Hook south to Cape May, including Atlantic City, Christie said.

This also includes Long Beach Island, Brick, Seaside Heights and Seaside Park, Toms River, Wildwood, Wildwood Crest, Ocean City and Sea Isle City.

Christie urged residents in vulnerable areas to move to county shelters. If they fill up, state-supported shelters will open.

Bergen County Community College, Lyndhurst senior center, Northern Valley Regional High School are ready to accept evacuees.

For a county-by-county listing of shelter: nj211.org

  • Why Sandy could be The Big One

Christie said state offices will be closed tomorrow. He also urged all schools do the same throughout the state.

“Tomorrow should be the worst day of the storm, so moving kids around on school buses might not be the optimum thing,” Christie said. “Since I’m not a school board member, I don’t get to make that decision.

“But I would encourage everyone strongly to not open schools tomorrow.”

Christie said NJ Transit would gradually begin shutting down operations at 4 o’clock this afternoon, to finish at 2 a.m. Meantime, PATH service will be suspended indefinitely at midnight.

“By the end of the day today, you shouldn’t be counting on mass transit to be moving you anywhere, at least over the next couple of days,” he said.

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