Stafford police are urging those residents who are still in evacuation areas to "evacuate the area immediately while conditions still permit."
According to a press release from Stafford Police Lt. Thomas Dellane, "it is highly likely that police, fire and EMS will not be able to provide aid to you once flooding becomes too extreme."
Police in Stafford were out this morning, concentrating route alerting efforts in:
- Bayside (Mud City)
- Cedar Bonnet Island
- Cedar Run Dock Road
- Beach Haven West
- Village Harbour
- Mallard Island.
In an email interview this morning, Dellane told Patch that police "were able to make contact with many more people who will be evacuating to the [Southern Regional] shelter so we anticipate that the population will increase as the day goes on." He said currently, about 160 people have evacuated to the shelter, and the capacity of the shelter is 320.
Any resident in need of assistance or transportation in Stafford should call (609) 597-8581, police said.
Meanwhile, in Barnegat and Ocean Townships, a mandatory evacuation order for the bayfront and lagoon sections is in effect for each community. Police have implemented a 12-hour storm shift, and "will have a heavy and visible police presence on the street, especially in the evacuation zone," according to a prepared statement from the township.
As of 4 a.m. this morning, about 20 people had reported to the Brackman Middle School for shelter, according to Township Administrator David Breeden. Three-hundred cots are available.
Any resident in need of assistance or transporation in Barnegat is asked to call (609) 698-5000 or, in Ocean Township, (609) 693-4007.
Township officials in Barnegat and Stafford noted there will be no trash or recycling collection today or tomorrow, and that leaf collection will be "delayed until further notice." Officials also stressed the importance of securing receptables so they are not carried away by the storm.