Although it's not completely clear yet, when and how hurricane Irene will hit the North East, the city is urging Hoboken residents to prepare for heavy and wide spread flooding on Sunday.
"Even areas of Hoboken that don’t normally flood could be under many feet of water, so residents need to prepare now and be ready to move their vehicles to higher ground or out of town if necessary," Mayor Dawn Zimmer said in a press release on Wednesday afternoon.
The mayor is also urging residents to leave town for the weekend if possible. Zimmer added that she may call for an evacuation "if conditions warrant it."
The city is also advising Hoboken residents how best to prepare for the hurricane when and if it hits town.
Emergency evacuation shelters have been set up at the Wallace School and the Hoboken High School and are stocked with water and cots, according to the city. The city also announced that the North Hudson Sewerage Authority is inspecting pumps and is clearing catch basins. Evacuation plans have been reviewed and are in place if necessary, the mayor announced.
Residents are urged to move their cars to higher grounds or on the upper levels of the city's garages. The safest option, according to the city, is to park outside of Hoboken, where the chance of flooding is less.
Unsecured objects on balconies and patios should be taken inside, due to the possibility of high winds.
It's also a good idea to have 72 hours of non-perishables in the house, in the event of a power outage.
Hurricane Irene is currently moving toward the Bahamas, according to the National Weather Service.
"This is a threat that residents must take seriously," Zimmer said.
Senior citizens and others with special needs (such as the need for electrical medical equipment) who many need assistance with evacuation are asked to notify the Emergency Operations Center as soon as possible by calling 201-239-6643/6644. The EOC will be open 24 hours a day as of 9 a.m. on Thursday, August 25. For emergencies, residents should call 911 or the Hoboken Police Department at 201-420-2100 and Hoboken Fire Department at 201-420-2005/2007.