THANKSGIVING WEEKEND: Traffic | Travel Guide | Weather | Holiday Guide | Mall Hours

Cape May Evacuations Underway; Tensions High At Packed Gas Stations

CAPE MAY, N.J. (CBS) — The estimated 750,000 tourists and residents began evacuating Cape May County on Thursday.

There were mandatory evacuations ordered in areas east of Route 9 in Atlantic and Ocean Counties.

Tensions ran high at a Cape May gas station as some motorists argued over gas lines. Lines to fuel up backed out into the street.

Story continues below photo…

gas line denardo dl Cape May Evacuations Underway; Tensions High At Packed Gas Stations

(Shore evacuees line up for fuel at the Ocean View rest stop, above Sea Isle on the Garden State Parkway. Credit: Mike DeNardo)

“This is a madhouse. I mean the world is coming to an end, it looks like. It’s a lack of preparation because of the panic,” tourist Lito Carrillo said.

Once you got on the highway, things did not get much better. Traffic heading north on the Garden State Parkway was bumper to bumper.

It was frustrating enough that one man turned around and decided he might try again later Friday.

“It’s just crazy. I mean it’s unbelievable,” said vacationer Tony Franzino.

On Thursday, Cape May County officials called for a mandatory evacuation of the entire county effective 8 a.m. Friday (read what other counties will be evacuated).

The lack of multiple highways here are a concern.

“Cape May County is the sixth most difficult place in the nation to evacuate for category one hurricanes or greater,” said Cape May County emergency manager Frank McCall. “We need to have people know their presence in Cape May County for this period of time is probably not good for their well being.”

One couple was skipping the traffic altogether and leaving via their boat.

“We’ll head out in the morning, go up the Delaware Bay, up to the Cohancey River, and find some shelter,” Nicki Wynnefield said.

Still, some remained defiant and said they planned to stay.

Mary Stewart and her husband own a marina and a whale-watching boat. She has no plans on leaving.

“We’ve been here through other storms. We’ve been here through other evacuations and we’ve always stayed put,” Stewart said.

Cape May County emergency officials warn that this storm is unlike any other storm to hit this area in anyone’s lifetime, and they are urging everyone to leave.

Reported by Todd Quinones, CBS 3 Guide To Hurricane Irene

More from Todd Quinones
  • Thousands Evacuate South Jersey Shore Areas As Irene Looms Closer « CBS Philly

    […] So, as the Jersey shore prepares for a near-direct hit from Irene, hundreds of thousands were evacuating — some more quickly than others (see previous story). […]

  • Angry Revolutionary

    Chaos theory at it’s finest and proving once again that today’s America lacks common sense or preparedness. Your gas tank should never go below half a tank. And you should always have an exit plan. In addition you knew this storm has been coming for a week. If you need to wait for an order to evacuate you have no common sense.

  • professor M

    “We need to have people know there presence in Cape May County for this period of time is probably not good for their well being.” Uh, THEIR?

    • DMyers

      yes, uh ‘Their” well being. their
         [thair; unstressed ther] Show IPA
      a form of the possessive case of they used as an attributive adjective, before a noun: their home; their rights as citizens; their departure for Rome.
      (used after an indefinite singular antecedent in place of the definite masculine form his or the definite feminine form her ): Someone left their book on the table. Did everyone bring their lunch?

    • Not Professor

      What do you think it should be, professor?

blog comments powered by Disqus
Taz Goes Big!
Download Now!

Listen Live