A planned dedication of the 9/11 memorial in front of Barnegat Township hall has been postponed for at least a week, following reports that Hurricane Sandy -dubbed 'Frankenstorm' by some media outlets - may be headed this way.
Barnegat Mayor Al Cirulli told Patch that the township will likely postpone the planned Nov. 3 dedication to the following weekend, to allow township officials time to focus their energies on storm preparation efforts.
Barnegat Township Administrator David Breeden said that emergency management officials in Barnegat and Warentown met today to discuss response efforts on the part of police, fire, public works and other emergency management personnel.
"Unfortunately the forecast for this has taken a turn for the worst, and the key is going to be exactly where this storm will make landfall," Breeden said. "We are using the Halloween storm of 1991 as a reference, and that storm did a lot of damage to the Jersey coast. We are doing everything we can to ensure that we can accommodate people if that were to happen."
Over in Manahawkin, Lt. Tom Dellane said similar emergency management discussions are taking place. He said there are a "litany of events" that take place to prepare in case a storm of this size does hit the storm, and those events have already begun, including meetings that would activate the town's Emergency Management Response Team.
Superintendent Craig Henry said that crews at Southern have begun fortifying those areas of the high school that may be prone to water intrusion, and are sealing and preparing sandbags in case they are needed. Both Southern and Barnegat High Schools serve as evacuation shelters in the event of bad storms or disasters.
On a personal note, Henry said he is taking steps this weekend to ensure that his home is prepared for the storm, and urged other pepole who may be in emergency response to do the same.
"It is important to make sure that everything in your home is considered in advance, because if the worse happens, you may not get home for a few days," Henry said. "You need to make sure that you home is taken care of."