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Thousands In New Jersey Take Shelter From Irene

One ice cream shop in Sea Isle City is boarded up in preparation for the storm. (Credit: Mike DeNardo)

One ice cream shop in Sea Isle City is boarded up in preparation for the storm. (Credit: Mike DeNardo)

GALLOWAY, NJ (CBS) – As the evacuation zone widened in Atlantic County yesterday to include communities east of Route 9, it created the need for an additional shelter (click here for a list of shelters in New Jersey). So, they opened one at Rogers Elementary School in Galloway Township and it quickly filled to capacity.

KYW Newsradio’s Brad Segall reports, It wasn’t easy for some people to evacuate. Al from Atlantic City says he thought about staying in his apartment throughout the storm, but then thought better of it. “I’ve been living here for about twenty years and it was very difficult. But at the last minute, like I said — a storm, a hurricane is big business.”

They have about 160 people staying here this morning, waiting out the storm.

Derma Jones of Atlantic City is one of the people staying in the shelter. She says the hardest part is the uncertainty, “We packed enough things for a couple of days anyway. You know, it might be Monday when we go back. We just have to see what happens.”

Many people here say they worry about the rain, the wind and what their home is going to look like when they get back at some point. And the hardest part of the process, they say, is the anticipation. Many of them have been here since 6:30 last night. It’s still several hours until the storm gets here, so they say the waiting is the hardest part.

Thousands have fled the New Jersey shoreline, but as KYW Newsradio‘s Mike DeNardo reports, there are those who have decided, for one reason or another, not to evacuate.

George Richert runs a tree service, so he says he’s staying home in Cape May Courthouse to be in position to deal with damage from Irene.

“There’s going to be essential personnel here who are going to stay here in the county for emergency reasons, but I mean, you know there are people who are just either elderly or whatever — they’re not going to leave. People are not going to leave the comfort of their home. They feel they’re going to be safe there. I chose to stay here, because for me I believe it’s a service for the customers.”

The building here at Cape May Courthouse, which is inland a little bit, have their windows boarded up, ready for high hurricane-force winds and relentless rain expected later today.

Reported by Brad Segall and Mike DeNardo, KYW Newsradio 1060

CBSPhilly.com Guide To Hurricane Irene

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