As Hurricane Irene prepares to visit the Cinnaminson area with the same high winds and rains now pummeling the southeast coast, township officials are preparing an emergency management system for local residents.
Hurricane Irene is slated to hit Burlington County early in the morning Sunday.
“We’re ready, we’re well-prepared,” said Michael P. King, public safety director for Cinnaminson Police. “We’ve done everything in the last 48 hours that could be done.”
Part of Cinnaminson are prone to flooding, and the main message coming out of the meeting is to encourage anyone who lives in low-lying areas to voluntary leave the area and stay in higher, dryer places.
Lt. Tim Young drove through the township Friday morning to check the creek, river and sewers. Public Works cleared storm drains as much as possible the past couple of days, King said, and Saturday, police will be going door-to-door in those flood prone areas to remind residents of emergency plans.
“If it gets really bad,” King said, “at some point, the mayor can sign a emergency disaster declaration and mandate evacuations.”
Starting at 9 p.m. Saturday night, a round-the-clock emergency operations center will be manned by police, fire, EMS, emergency management and public works to coordinate efforts.
“All of us will be together at one of the emergency services buildings,” King said. “While Central is doing emergency calls, we can help alleviate other problems through this system.”
The school district has also partnered up with the township and will make available one or more of the school buildings for emergency shelter if needed.
That information will be released as needed.
“They will provide busing for us to evacuate our people from their residences if need be,” King said.
Also, the Burlington County Chapter of the American Red Cross announced it will name open two county shelters today—one in Palmyra, one in Medford. More will open if there is a need.
Updated information, news and weather reports can be found right here at Cinnaminson Patch, but also broadcast on the township’s radio station found at 1620 AM.
Township officials are also asking residents to wait at least 12 hours after the storm is over to drive around the township.
“If people can stay in, it gives emergency crews time to clear streets,” Young said.
King added workers would clean up the township Sunday overnight so mostly everything is ready by Monday morning.
“Everyone is working together,” King said. “Everything is in place.”
For a list of phone numbers and websites to keep handy this weekend, click here.
For a list of tips Cinnaminson residents need to know for Hurricane Irene, click here.
To track the storm, click here.
For information about Red Cross shelters, click here.