2011 Aug 26th

Leave Hoboken Now!

All day yesterday and today I overheard people saying things like “WTF – why should we leave town?”,  and “I’m not goin’ anywhere – I was born & raised here – I’ve seen it all”.  Get real people.  This is not a joke. This is not just another Hoboken rainstorm & flooding.  I can just imagine people waiting until the worst of it hits on Sunday, only to panic and try to leave when it will be too late.  Unless you have some compelling reason to be here, leave now.  Don’t be stupid.  You all have friends who live on higher ground – go stay with them.  Take your pets.  Take care of your parents.    Be smart and stay safe.  (P.S. – No Open House Map this weekend.)

Below is Mayor Zimmer’s latest letter to residents:


Dear Hoboken Residents,

Hurricane Irene may reach the New York City as a Category 1 or 2 hurricane. It is expected to arrive sometime on Saturday evening. If the storm remains at the predicted strength and reaches us at high tide, it could be one of the worst storms our City has ever faced. Very strong winds are forecast, so trees may be uprooted and power outages are very likely. Governor Christie has said that “from a flooding perspective this could be a 100-year event.”

I am extremely concerned about the potential for severe flooding and am calling for a voluntary evacuation. I strongly urge residents to leave Hoboken as soon as possible.

In concert with Police Chief Falco, we are declaring a state of emergency for Hoboken. The City is bringing inside all public trash cans and recycling bins and relocating our vehicles out of the municipal garage.

Please do not underestimate this storm. It is crucial that all residents take this storm very, very seriously. Prepare for the worst and hope for the best has been my philosophy. Here’s what I ask of you:

Shelters: Visit Hobokennj.org for an update on the City’s shelter plan. Hoboken’s shelter at the Wallace School will open on Saturday morning at 9am. Bring blankets, pillows and sleeping bags. Designated bus pickup locations will at 3rd and Jackson, 1st and Bloomfield, 5th and Willow, and 12th and Hudson. Buses will pick up residents at 10am, 12pm, 2pm, 4pm, and 6pm and transport them to the Wallace School. We will transport residents by bus to several backup locations that have been set up in Union City. A big thank you to Senator Stack for helping Hoboken. Transportation to shelters will be provided thanks to Superintendent Toback and the Hoboken School Board as well as Academy Bus. Residents that feel they will need to be in a shelter are urged to go before the eye of the storm hits Hoboken on late Saturday night.

Pets: Residents staying at the Wallace School shelter may bring pets along with a crate. Pets must be crated. Please bring enough pet food for three days.

The Hudson Regional Health Commission offers the following advice:

The most important thing a person can do is to plan ahead. If you are asked to evacuate, you need to bring your pets with you. You need to start thinking today about where you will take your pets — ask a dependable friend or relative who lives some distance from the evacuation area if you and/or your pets can stay with them until the all clear is given. An alternative is to find a pet friendly motel. There a number of them listed on the web:

http://www.pet-friendly-hotels.net/pet-friendly-hotels-newjersey.html

http://www.bringfido.com/lodging/state/new_jersey/

http://www.funnewjersey.com/upload_user/Weekend_Getaways/HOTELS.HTM

You should have a portable pet carrier for each animal and identification with each animal. Bring copies of the pet’s licenses, leashes, water and food bowls, pet foods, bottled water, special medications and instructions for their administration, any special needs for your pet, blankets, handy wipes, paper towels and litter or bedding.

Go to http://www.nj.gov/agriculture/divisions/ah/pdf/petbro.pdf for more information on emergency planning for pets.

Prepare yourself if you cannot leave Hoboken: For your safety and to ensure that our Police and Fire Departments can respond to all emergencies, it is very important that everyone who cannot leave Hoboken is fully prepared to stay inside with enough water and food for 72 hours. Assume there will be no power and make certain to have flashlights, batteries and candles. Fill your bathtubs and sinks with water, which can be used to flush your toilets. Prepare to stay in a room without windows as the winds are predicted to cause damage to windows.

Move your cars: Nearly every street in Hoboken could flood, and everyone is advised to move their cars off the street or risk having it totaled from water damage. Unfortunately the City’s garages have already filled. Some privately owned garages are still available, and I strongly advise you to move your cars into a garage or out of Hoboken as soon as possible. Our Parking Utility has been reaching out to private garages for information, and as of Friday morning, the following garages were reported to have vacancies (others may be available as well):

• Sylvan Parking (800 Jefferson St) – $30.00 per 24 hours
• Central Parking (50 Bloomfield St) – $30.00 per 24 Hours
• Central Parking (77 Park Ave) – $30.00 per 24 Hours
• Propark America (1125 Maxwell Ln) -$30.00 per 24 Hours
• Central Parking Systems (1 Washington St) – Up to 12 hours $20.00, up to 24 hours $25.00
• Central Parking Systems (50 Bloomfield St) – $30.00 per 24 Hours
• Sylvan Sky Garage LLC (125 Marshall St) – $30.00 per 24 Hours
• Propark America (1450 Bloomfield St) – approximately 400 spaces -$30.00 per 24 Hours
• Sylvan Sky Garage (700 1st St) – $30.00 per 24 Hours
• SJP Garage (111 River St) – approximately 200 spaces – $30.00 per 24 Hours

Tie down or bring unsecured objects inside. Due to the predicted high winds, residents should bring in unsecured objects from patios and balconies and secure outdoor objects such as lawn furniture which can blow away and cause injury. Please bring garbage cans inside so they do not litter our streets, and if you have a construction zone, please clear and secure the site of all loose materials.

Reaching the City: Please call our Emergency Command Center at 201-239-6643/6644 if you have general questions. It is open 24/7. Call 911 for emergencies and 201-420-2100 for the Police and 201-420-2005/2007 for the Fire if you have any problems with 911.

Updates: Please monitor the City website www.hobokennj.org for updates. You can also sign up to receive text or email alerts via our Nixle system through the link on the top left of our website or by directly visiting http://local.nixle.com/city-of-hoboken/.

Volunteering: Thank you to a team of Stevens students scheduled to start helping Saturday morning. We will need help with calling as many of our seniors and Housing Authority residents in the flood prone areas to ensure they are prepared and understand their options. A calling center will be set up later today. Volunteers interested in helping to make calls and volunteer at shelters can come to City Council chambers starting Saturday at 8:00 am or email Dan Bryan at [email protected] Please bring your fully charged cell phone and charger.

Thank you in advance to all the Hoboken residents who are taking this seriously and getting prepared. If you’ve read through this email, please forward it to as many people as you can so that together we can weather this storm and make sure that everyone is safe.

Lastly, I want to assure you that the City’s Police, Fire and Emergency services are working closely together to be as prepared as possible to protect Hoboken residents during this storm. In addition, I want to assure you that the State is also getting fully prepared to assist our State as needed. Yesterday I participated in a statewide conference call with Governor Christie and learned that the National Guard is on the ground and ready to assist our State’s residents with the emergencies we may face.

Be prepared and stay safe.

Mayor Zimmer

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