NEW YORK (CBS 2 / 1010 WINS/ WCBS 880) — Hurricane Earl is moving toward the east coast — bringing high winds, rough surf and the potential for dangerous rip-tides.
And while a direct hit seems unlikely, the Tri-State area is preparing for the worst during the Labor Day weekend.
New York’s Office of Emergency Management is busy tracking Earl’s path and is urging residents in the storm’s potential path to be ready.
“Make sure you have supplies at home or supplies if you need to go. And make sure you listen to what we are saying about this particular storm,” Joseph Bruno said.
It’s still too soon to tell if Earl will batter beachfront communities like Belle Harbor, Queens, but residents are on high alert as well.
“I’m a little worried,” one man told CBS 2’s Hazel Sanchez.
“I’m always preparing. I lived here for 50 years,” another resident said.
In Brooklyn, Congressman Anthony Weiner said a series of jetties was needed to protect the shore along Plum Beach, 1010 WINS’ Al Jones reports.
“What used to be over 40 feet of beaches here has now been reduced roughly in half.” The Belt Parkway which is a mere stone’s throw from here, sand bags had to be laid out,” Weiner said.
Weiner also stressed the need for the Army Corps of Engineers to act soon.
“Imagine what [it] would be like if [the] traffic had to be diverted into the neighborhoods of southern Brooklyn and southern Queens,” Weiner said.
One Brooklyn resident echoed the sentiments of Weiner saying that he hoped officials took the threat from Earl seriously.
“God forbid Earl comes up here and is really dangerous, getting 130,000 people off the Rockaway peninsula is a major undertaking,” one Brooklyn resident told Jones.
New York City’s emergency officials reportedly have been conducting conference calls with hospitals and other agencies that care for the elderly and home bound to make sure they’re prepared.
“I don’t think there’s anybody at the shore right now who doesn’t understand that a hurricane is coming up the coast,” New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie said Tuesday. “They’ve been through this before, so they know that we need to start taking precautions.”
Back in March — strong storms battered the New Jersey shoreline — causing massive damage and knocking out power to thousands, CBS 2′s Katherine Brown reported.
Christie said the Office of Homeland Security Preparedness, New Jersey State Police and Office of Emergency Management are already working on plans.
“We will certainly have plenty of time to give people advise as to what they should be doing,” Christie said.
At the Red Cross Preparedness Center in Tinton Falls — workers packed supplies and loaded emergency trailers with gear — ready to go in case evacuations are ordered.
“We have food trucks, feeding vehicles, we have ERVs (emergency response vehicles)… thousands of cots, ice, water and other supplies needed,” Tara Kelly of the Red Cross said.
As Earl prepares to churn up the Atlantic Coast, the Long Island region began bracing for a possible near hit.
People enjoying the beaches were not happy to hear the hurricane could be headed their way.
One woman told 1010 WINS’ Mona Rivera that the undertow at Robert Moses State Park seemed bad enough already.
“The water is very rough. My [son] actually got stuck in there. You can go in, but you can’t get back into the shore,” Regina said.
Spokesman George Gorman said park officials were preparing for the storm.
“We are moving lifeguard equipment off the beach. We’re moving trash receptacles. We’re moving signs,” Gorman said.
The red flags at Jones Beach warn already of hidden trouble–swells and rips.
Massapequa resident Doreen Mather is taking the threat seriously.
“I’m down at the beach today, but as soon as they say it starts coming in, you shouldn’t be in the water or come down here,” Mather said, “my two brothers are lifeguards here and very dangerous with the riptides and currents.”
“It seems like it’s going to stay off the coast. It doesn’t seem that bad, but you gotta be safe,” Marybeth Schappert of Oak Beach said.
Since Earl could impact our area as early as Thursday night, Nassau and Suffolk’s offices of emergency management already opened their 120-hour hurricane window.
Emergency officials began mailing information to homes in flood-prone areas. Posted evacuation instructions and shelter locations were available on line.
“Making sure our shelters are in place, our pet shelters are open, make sure that we are communicating with the infirm and the immobile,” explained Steve Levy, Suffolk County Executive.
In Connecticut, Gov. M. Jodi Rell’s spokeswoman said the governor held conference calls with state emergency and city officials Tuesday about the state’s readiness to deal with the impact of the storm. She said they will continue to observe the storm’s movements before taking significant action.