Christie: "Get The Hell Off The Beaches In Asbury Park''
Governor pleads for people to leave barrier islands and beaches
Gov. Chris Christie announced today the mandatory evacuations of hundreds of thousands of people from the Jersey Shore area ahead of Hurricane Irene.
Christie listed mandatory evacuations in dozens of communities from Cape May through upper Monmouth County, affecting thousands along the shore.
In Monmouth County, mandatory evacuations include portions of Keansburg, Spring Lake, Sea Bright, Monmouth Beach, Asbury Park, Wall Township and Manasquan, Christie said.
Christie said Wall Township was under a mandatory evacuation. But Police Chief Robert Brice said Christie was incorrect. There is a targeted mandatory evacuation in parts of Wall Township, but not all of town, Brice said.
Christie implored residents in affected areas to get out of town tonight.
"Get the hell off the beaches in Asbury Park,'' Christie said. "It's 4:30 p.m. You've maximized your tan. Get off the beaches and get into your cars.''
Christie also said about 5,000 people could be accommodated at three emergency shelters to be set up in Monmouth County (See the full list here), but asked that people make other arrangements before considering one.
"Shelters are places of last resort,'' Christie said. "Do not go to a center because it's close to your house and driving to a friends' house would take an hour.''
Christie repeated a plea to residents on barrier islands to get out of their homes and seek shelter in a safer place.
"I don't want you people on the barrier islands waiting until tomorrow to leave,'' he said. "I want you to leave tonight.''
Christie's remarks follow a 12:15 p.m. news conference where he announced the closure of the southbound lanes of the Garden State Parkway south of Exit 98 beginning at 8 p.m. Friday, among other closures ahead of Hurricane Irene.