Long & Foster Real Estate Blog
– A state of emergency was declared in every state on the east coast of the US as Hurricane Irene moved northward from the Caribbean.
– On Wed., 8/24 Avalon Mayor Pagliughi advised all visitors and non-residents to voluntarily leave the island before an evacuation order was to be issued, in order to avoid an expected traffic jam on the highways leaving Cape May County, when an evacuation order would be given prior to the arrival of the storm late Sat., 8/27
– On Thurs., 8/25, the Cape May County Office of Emergency Management, along with the local Offices of Emergency Management, declared a state of emergency at 3:30 PM, due to the approaching Hurricane Irene, and issued a mandatory evacuation of all non-residents from the barrier islands by 6:00 PM Thurs., that very day. Island residents and business owners were then to follow a mandatory evacuation order and leave by 3:00 PM on Friday, 8/26. No businesses on the barrier islands were permitted to operate on Sat. & Sun., 8/27 & 8/28.
– On Friday, 8/26, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christy issued an ultimatum in a TV news conference, after having seen video clips of people still walking on New Jersey beaches, and said, “Get the hell off the beach! This is a life threatening storm and you must obey the evacuation orders that have been issued!”
– Traffic to the Jersey coast was prohibited by the closure of southbound and
Eastbound traffic on the Garden State Parkway, Atlantic City Expressway, Routes 47 & 347, etc
– We had been told that all first responders were going to be ordered off the island
by 3:00 PM on Sat., 8/27 and that there was a plan to cut all power to the island to prevent fires that the fire companies would not be able to get to, given the expected flooding.
– We at Avalon Real Estate Agency evacuated our building at 6:00 PM, Thurs., 8/25, after barricading our building and shutting off our building power. Our agents and staff then had to secure their own homes and property, and then pack up their families and evacuate their homes in Cape May County. We were told that we would be receiving Reverse 911 calls on our cell phones when the authorities gave the OK to return to the island.
– On Sunday afternoon, after getting informal word that you could once again get
back on the island, a number of our folks attempted to return and ran into numerous problems doing so, such as bridge and highway closures due to the high winds, flooding and tree-down detours, and even a large utility pole that came down and blocked Avalon Blvd. for several hours late on Sunday afternoon.
At about the same time, the power was out at the intersection of Stone Harbor Blvd. and the Garden State Parkway, so the NJ State Police blocked Stone Harbor Blvd. and would not allow access to the island via that roadway.
– A number of our staff did get back on the island late on Sun. afternoon or evening, but our building had not yet been un-barricaded, nor had our power to the building been restored. We did not know if we had sustained any damage to the building or our systems until we were finally able to get back in the building to check things out.
Over one million people were mandated to evacuate the Jersey Shore this past weekend for Hurricane Irene. They were stressed, inconvenienced and exhausted at the prospect of preparing their homes, businesses, boats, etc., and having to get out of Cape May County for the onslaught of this potentially dangerous and deadly storm. We are sorry for any inconvenience encountered by our tenants and property owners during these last few trying days, but we can all be thankful that we got through this in such good shape.