NEW JERSEY (CBS) — It was not your typical Labor Day weekend on Brigantine’s beaches Saturday.
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Usually packed, the beaches were closed for the day, with the threat of Hermine looming.
“If it gets too rough, trust me, we’re out of here!” said Shida Weisman of Pilesgrove, NJ. “We are not one of those people who are going to be rescued and saved. We don’t do that.”
Still, a few brave souls ignored the closures and swam and surfed in the choppy waters.
“It’s very, very dangerous,” said Jim Bennett, Brigantine’s emergency management coordinator and police chief. “The currents and the waves are incredibly strong in the lead up to the storm and we actually had our beach patrol officers earlier today sending people off the beach and keeping them out of the water.”
Bennett said the island is ready for whatever Hermine may bring. High wind and flooding concerns prompted him to issue a voluntary evacuation order ahead of the storm.
“Even if this turns out to be just a minor annoyance, I’d take being safe any day,” he said.
Most people who decided to stay on the island just watched the waves from afar, appreciating the strong breeze and temperatures in the 70s.
“We’re enjoying the weather right now, but you never know what Mother Nature is going to bring,” said Kim Armstrong of Absecon. “Since Sandy, everybody’s nervous.”
New Jersey’s Office of Emergency Management remained in a monitoring phase Saturday, with plans to increase manpower, if needed, on Sunday.