Major Floodwaters Prompting National Guard Evacuations on LBI
Long Beach Police Chief: 'All we're worried about is making people safe.'
At the tip of Long Beach Island, ocean waters may be beginning to meet bay waters, as police, working with the National Guard, scramble to evacuate holdouts off the island.
Long Beach Township Police Chief Anthony Deely told Patch that there are several "pick up" points along the island for people wanting to evacuate, including High Point Volunteer Fire Company, Ship Bottom Police Department, Long Beach Township Police Department, and Engleside Avenue in Beach Haven.
As of this afternoon, more than 100 people have been helped to the pick up points, where they are then transported by National Guard vehicles and busses over the bridge to the Southern Regional evacuation center. He advised people to call for assistance.
"If you are on the island and cannot get to a pick up point, please stay where you are, call the police department, and give us details of where you are, who is there, how many, and give us a contact number." Deely said.
Deely said emergency crews were trying to capitalize on a "limited window" of a "low tide" this afternoon to evacuate more people off the island - although today's low tide was as high as a regular high tide for LBI.
Asked by a Patch reporter whether the ocean has met the bay at any point on the island, he said: "I would say that's a true statement," noting reports of such activity in Holgate. He then confirmed one report that the ocean had breached the dunes in certain parts of the township, but added, "we can't control the rumor mill at this point, all we're worried about is making people safe."
Across the Causeway bridge, Lt. Thomas Dellane told Patch the Southern evacuation center was expecting about another 100 people from the island this afternoon.
He said Stafford police are conducting rescues by boats only in areas like Mud City, Cedar Bonnet Island, and Beach Haven West since these areas are flooded. He said the Township has made about 45 rescues today.
Anyone in need of assistance in evacuating in Stafford should call 609-597-8581.