As Hurricane Earl makes a beeline to the outer banks of the Carolinas, people along the South Jersey shore are still bracing for mostly wind and rain today and tonight.
KYW’s David Madden reports that The Wildwoods were among the towns getting ready for Earl’s holiday weekend visit.
Patrick Rosenello (at right in photo) has two boardwalk restaurants in Wildwood, plus the tram car franchise. He’s also the president of North Wildwood City Council.
Put that all together, and he’s one busy guy as Earl prepares his trek up the eastern seaboard with tropical force winds.
“We’re taking down awnings, taking down some of the decorative banners, things like that. Taking in outside furniture. Pretty much anything that’s movable that could be damaged.”
But all in all, Rosenello, says, this summer has been quite good, at least when it comes to the weather. For example, none of Wildwood’s free Friday night boardwalk fireworks shows has been canceled this year — although the final scheduled show is now in jeopardy.
North Wildwood mayor Bill Henfey (at left in photo above) puts all the meteorological talk in perspective:
“Although sometimes the news sensationalizes the winds, we are used to 30, 40, sometimes even gusts to 50 miles an hour here on a normal nor’easter.”
Besides, he points out, the rest of the Labor Day weekend forecast looks fine. Still, he says, he is worried about what the storm might do to his town’s recently completed beach replenishment project.
Meanwhile, KYW’s John McDevitt reports that Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) administrator Craig Fugate (right) agrees that the public should take precautions now:
“Time will be running out for people that have not gotten ready, so this is a time of action. We will hope that people are prepared and are responding and taking the action to protect themselves, heeding those local evacuations or other protective measures that may be required based on the storm threats.”
A hurricane watch has been issued for parts of North Carolina up through Massachusetts; Earl was downgraded this afternoon from a category 4 hurricane to category 3.
Stay tuned to KYW Newsradio 1060 for updates on Earl and for AccuWeather forecasts eight times every hour, 24 hours a day.
(Photo #1 by KYW’s David Madden)