Editor's Note: The following is a storm update sent out by the Mercer County administration at 3 p.m. today, Monday, Oct. 29.
Mercer County Executive Brian M. Hughes is urging residents and businesses to stay off the roads as Hurricane Sandy intensifies because high water or downed trees and wires will make some roads impassable.
“This storm is going to get worse,” Hughes said. “We need to keep the roads clear to allow utility companies and local public works crews to do the work that’s needed to get the roads reopened,” he said. “For that reason and, of course, for your own safety, please stay home. We appreciate your cooperation.”
Mercer County Officials also warned of possible prolonged power outages and remind residents that any downed power line should be assumed to be a live or electrified wire.
For a Google Map link for road closures, go to http://goo.gl/maps/p5VH9.
County residents are still being urged to “shelter in place,” meaning there is no need to go to a municipal, county or state designated shelter unless directed by officials. Loss of power is not a reason to seek shelter, officials said.
“We are not experiencing extreme temperatures as we saw in the days following Irene, where temperatures climbed into the 90s,” Hughes said. “You will be safer by staying put, hunkering down and riding out the storm at home.”
If residents are in distress however, they should call 911.
In Trenton, the Joyce Kilmer School at 1300 Stuyvesant Ave. opened as a shelter this morning. Residents in need of shelter can go to the Kilmer School or call (609) 989-3838 for information.
Outside the City of Trenton, people in need of shelter should contact their local Office of Emergency Management.
Hughes added that residents should check in with each other. “Make sure someone – a friend, neighbor or family member – knows where you are or where you will be staying,” he said.
Trenton-Mercer Airport closed the airfield at noon today due to the wind forecast and absence of inbound and outbound flights. Wind conditions will be evaluated again early Tuesday morning before a determination is made on whether the airport can reopen at that time.
All branches of the Mercer County Library, the Mercer County Board of Social Services, the Mercer County Parks Commission, the Office of the Mercer County Clerk, Office of the Mercer County Surrogate, and the Mercer County Administration Building are closed and will be closed Tuesday. County services such as the Sheriff's Office and the Corrections Center will remain open and will follow normal schedules.
Meals on Wheels is delivering or has delivered meals and “blizzard boxes” to individuals considered most vulnerable. Blizzard boxes, which contain non-perishables such as tuna and crackers, are meals provided a few weeks ago in anticipation of winter storms. All other meal deliveries have been canceled for the next two days. All county nutrition sites are closed today and will be closed Tuesday.
Recycling schedules can be checked on the Mercer County Improvement Authority website at www.mcia-nj.com.
The Mercer County Office of Emergency Management will participate in monitoring and communicating the tracking and assessment of Sandy over the next several days, Hughes said. In addition, local emergency management volunteer groups such as the Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) have been notified to be poised to respond.
CERT members give critical support to first responders in emergencies, provide immediate assistance to victims, organize spontaneous volunteers at a disaster site, and collect disaster intelligence to support first responder efforts.
For information regarding emergency preparedness, log on to: http://www.ready.nj.gov/plan/kit-plan.html. For more information regarding the CERT program, log on to: http://www.state.nj.us/njoem/emb_cert.html or call (609) 963-6900 extension 6964.