Voluntary Evacuation Remains in Place; High Winds, Flooding Expected
Toms River officials issued the voluntary evacuation for low-lying areas on Tuesday
A voluntary evacuation issued Tuesday for Toms River residents living in low-lying areas remains in place, officials announced Wednesday as weather conditions begin to deteriorate.
"The Toms River Office of Emergency Management advises residents in low-lying areas to expect flooding and a voluntary evacuation remains in place," reads a statement issued by the township Wednesday morning.
A coastal flood warning, wind advisory and winter storm watch are in effect, as well as a storm warning for offshore waters.
Forecasters are calling for winds of 30 to 40 m.p.h. with gusts to 60 m.p.h. in coastal areas. The entire coastal area is under a high wind warning until 5 a.m. Thursday. Seas of 15 to 20 feet are possible, according to the National Weather Service.
Department of Public Works crews have been working since Tuesday to construct a temporary sand berm on Ocean Terrace between 5th and 7th Avenues, connecting the township dunes, according to officials.
"In areas where homeowners have not signed easements for dune replenishment, the DPW is placing sand on the streets so that water does not get to the homes, in case there is any type of breach," a township statement reads.
A winter storm watch called for 3 to 5 inches of snow, with a morning mix Wednesday, changing to rain, but then back to snow Wednesday night. "Slushy accumulations" were expected, the watch said, though temperatures above freezing would help keep treated road surfaces clear.
The storm is forecast to move out of the region after 9 a.m. Thursday, giving way to clouds that will likely stick around through much of Friday, with occasional chances of rain or snow showers.