If Hurricane Sandy moves 30 miles in any direction, it could mean the difference between 30 mph winds and 70 mph winds hitting the area.
The Caribbean-born Hurricane Sandy made landfall over Cuba this morning as a Category 2 hurricane, bringing sustained winds of 105 mph. Forecasters predict the current track will take Sandy over the Bahamas before it turns north. Current models show it hitting the Northeast Sunday into Monday, but exactly where is anyone’s guess right now. Austin Kosik, Manager of East Brunswick’s Office of Emergency Management, said earlier forecasts had the storm hitting anywhere between Main and Virginia, with some predicting it could move out to sea instead. But as of 11 a.m. today, the two most reliable models had it hitting the Northeast somewhere, possibly at Sandy Hook, he said.
A clearer picture probably won’t be available until Friday or Saturday, which would give emergency officials only a 24-hour window to work with.
“Here’s where we stand,” Kosik said Thursday morning. “Any landfall from the south to Long Island is going to be tough for us because of how the water is going to be pushing in on us from the bays and the South River, and there’s a full moon coming in for us on Monday afternoon, which makes the tides higher.
While forecasts are still changing, Kosik said residents should prepare for flooding, high winds and power outages.
“Right now I think as it stands we’re looking at possible hurricane-type conditions for Sunday and Monday,” he said.
In New Jersey, the hazardous weather outlook has been issued to begin Thursday, when rainfall and increased wind speeds are expected.
"The remnants of Sandy may affect portions of the area this weekend into early next week," according to the NWS website.
On its Facebook page the OEM reports, "There is a potential for a very powerful and dangerous autumn storm to affect our region early next week." The statement continues, "There is a growing threat of strong winds, very heavy rainfall, coastal flooding and inland flooding to affect our region early next week."
If you want updates from Kosik about the storm and other township emergencies, sign up for the township Global Connect system.