Campus, city, state prepare for 'Frankenstorm'
Hurricane Sandy, or “Frankenstorm,” is on the way to central New Jersey. Forecasters predict that by Monday night, the University’s New Brunswick campus will be in the midst of strong tropical winds and heavy rain.
The University cancelled classes for Monday, Oct. 29 and Tuesday, Oct. 30 in anticipation of the storm, following the lead of service suspensions for transit systems like New Jersey Transit and the New York Metropolitan Transit Authority.
Officials are preparing for the worst and declaring a State of Emergency, including Gov. Chris Christie and New Brunswick Mayor James Cahill, who said he is most concerned about residents near the Raritan River.
Voluntary evacuation is an option for those living from Neilson Street to the Raritan River between Albany Street and Commercial Avenue, but it will become mandatory Monday at 9 p.m., Cahill said in a statement.
The city will be shut down at 9 a.m. starting Monday, and only emergency personnel are allowed on the streets, according to the statement.
The University advises students to stay inside their residence halls during the storm, a safer place than outside among the gusts of wind that could pick debris up and potentially harm passerby, just one tip from Campus Information Services sent in an email Sunday morning.
The University is providing shelter for those in need at the Sonny Werblin and Livingston Recreation Centers, and both facilities will be closed Sunday and Monday.
New Brunswick is likely to start seeing rain after 1 a.m. Monday, with gusts as high as 37 miles per hour. A 100 percent precipitation is forecast for Monday, with winds increasing to 45 miles per hour, according to the state climatologist’s website.
Monday night looks like the brunt of the storm, with gusts reaching 70 miles per hour and rain falling around 2 inches.
As of Sunday night, top wind gusts have been reported in shore area towns like Atlantic City and Sea Girt, both of which weigh in near 45 miles per hour, according to the site.
Rain has not accumulated much at this point, with West Cape May charting the most at half of an inch.