HOBOKEN – Mayor Dawn Zimmer held a press conference Friday at City Hall to update the public on precautionary measures for Hurricane Sandy, which is expected to hit as early as Sunday night.
Zimmer encouraged the public to prepare themselves as best as possible by buying food, water, flashlights, filling pots and gearing up to potentially stay inside for several days. At this time, the city is not calling for an evacuation, but residents living in ground floor and basement apartments are encouraged to start thinking about where to go just in case.
If need be, shelters will be set up at Wallace School and a back-up shelter will be at Hoboken High School.
Zimmer urged the public to make plans to move their cars, as flooding is anticipated. Western Hoboken is traditionally known to be flood-prone.
“The pump is in fact working,” Zimmer said, “but it is not going to pump everything out.”
Strong winds are also predicted and the mayor advised people to start removing items (or tying down items) from their decks and balconies, as well as garbage cans from the streets.
The city is calling for as many volunteers as possible as early as tomorrow, to help get the word out and man call centers so that the police and fire departments can concentrate on emergency calls.
Volunteers will be meeting Saturday at 221 Jackson St. at 11 a.m. and also Sunday at City Hall at 11 a.m.
Zimmer stated that the city has been mobilizing their teams (parking, fire, police, etc) as well as directly coordinating with PSE&G, who have already been securing lines.
Zimmer also encouraged to stay out of the flood waters, even after the storm, as the waters are not just rain water but also the result of a combined sewer system.
“We are taking this storm very seriously,” Zimmer said. “Obviously we are hoping for the best, but we are preparing for the worst.”