Close to 30 students from around the area gathered in the parking lot of the Department of Public Works on Saturday filling sandbags in anticipation of the arrival of Hurricane Sandy
Michelle Cheasty a volunteer with the Howell Office of Emergency Management and the Farmingdale Howell First Aid Squad said efforts are already underway even with the storm still likely a day away.
Cheasty said the goal was to fill "a couple thousand sand bags," and distribute them to "areas of risk," including Luxury Lane and some township properties. Supplies were also delivered so residents in places like Moores Landing could put sand bags in front of their houses ahead of the storm.
Angeline Leon, who lives on Mariners Cove in the Moores Landing development said her family was busy preparing for Sandy with sand bags. She also said that barring a mandatory evacuation call from the township they are planning to stay in their house through the storm.
Mariners Cove was one of the hardest hit streets during Hurricane Irene and many houses at the end of the road have been abandoned while a few residents have remained. Leon said the hurricane last year and a previous storm helped her family to prepare this time. "One weekend we flooded and then it was right after," she said of Irene. "Because that flooded down there we never thought we were going to get flooded here. We're preparing better this time because we saw it two weeks in a row."
As of Saturday there was still no clear sign of how much the township will be affected by the storm but Cheasty said several factors including a lunar tide and a full moon will make whatever hits the township that much more severe.
The Howell OEM and DPW are already working to prepare for the storm and Cheasty said the local first responders are also ensuring that their equipment is prepared for the next few days.
In an email to residents Township Manager Helene Schlegel said the Emergency Operations Center will be activated as the storm gets closer. While it is not currently active residents will be able to call 732-414-3239 with any non-emergency storm related questions. Residents with emergencies are still encouraged to call 911.