It wouldn't be the first time the Toms River Halloween Parade had been rescheduled.
But if the forecasts for Hurricane Sandy continue to proof serious, Toms River Fire Co. No. 1 would decide possibly Sunday to announce a new date for the parade.
Today, Saturday, the parade is still planned for Oct. 31. This year is the 75th parade, which draws a large participation from the local community as well as visitors from around the world.
Parade Chairman Al McDaniel said that if the parade is rescheduled, the rain date of Nov. 1 would not likely be used.
"A damaging storm would mean fire department resources would be addressing storm response as the first priority," McDaniel said. "We'd be tied up with those issues and couldn't devote the manpower to a parade."
McDaniel said Friday evening that organizers would be using Saturday and Sunday to make a decision.
"It's prudent to have a good plan," McDaniel said.
Toms River Office of Emergency Management Director Paul Daley said key personnel, including many from the fire departments, will be meeting Saturday afternoon for storm preparations and to establish a plan for all of Toms River and the barrier island sections of town.
Addressing storm readiness and then, post-storm, addressing any emergencies will be emergency responders first priority, McDaniel said.
"If indeed the storm is big, even for the fire department ourselves, we’d not be able to recover the next day," he said. The Nov. 1 raindate would likely not be used but the parade could be rescheduled to a date in the following week or so.
Inclement weather has pushed the Toms River Halloween Parade off its traditional day of Halloween to a rain date.
"It has happened but not that often," McDaniel said.
Toms River Regional Schools are already warning parents and staff of a potential early dismissal Monday and delayed opening Tuesday for school.
"In preparing for the pending storm, TRRS may require an early dismissal on Monday or open with a 90 minute delay on Tuesday," said the district in an announcement on its website, here.
The Toms River Regional School district is urging regularly checking its website for updated information.
"We understand that this is an inconvenience; however, the safety of our children is our primary concern."
As of 11 a.m. Saturday, no areas in Toms River had announced a voluntary evacuation for Hurricane Sandy. Residents are being urged to take the time now to prepare for the hurricane using FEMA's readiness tips, here. Emergency numbers for the Toms River area are listed here.
McDaniel said an answer on the parade will likely come before the weekend's end.
"We don't have a good answer right now," he said.
For the latest Hurricane Sandy coverage from Toms River Patch visit our topic page here.