Mandatory evacuation issued for some residents in Barnegat, N.J.

BARNEGAT, N.J. (WPVI) -- Officials in Barnegat, New Jersey have issued a mandatory evacuation for some residents ahead of a severe winter storm, expected to bring major coastal flooding.

As a result of weather reports, the Barnegat Office of Emergency Management and Barnegat Police Department have declared a local state of emergency and issued a mandatory evacuation.

The evacuation affects all residents between the Barnegat Municipal Bathing Beach and the East Bay Avenue Bridge, which is now undergoing construction.

Residents are to evacuate the area no later than 10 p.m. on Friday.

Michael Erwin is among those evacuating from the Bayshore area of Barnegat, where police are going door-to-door after issuing the evacuation order.

As for his plan, Erwin says, "Going to my sister's house. I have two young children and I worry about, the beach floods down in that area over there, so we're worried about getting out."

Because of bridge construction there's only one way in and out of the neighborhood - Bayshore Drive - and police say that'll be impassable.

Barnegat Police Lt. Keith Germain tells us, "We're looking at a potential 4 foot storm surge here, and Sandy was about 4 1/2 foot storm surge. So it's a significant amount of water obviously that gives us cause for concern."

Before the order became mandatory residents were considering their options, and not everyone wants to go.

Holding a hand to his chest, Bruce Johnson says, "We've seen the water this high here and we're still here. So it'll come and it'll go out and we'll be okay... No, we're not going anywhere."

Lisa Pedroli is of the same mind, saying, "I'm not worrying. If I get flooded, I get flooded. What else am I going to do?"

Police can't force anyone to evacuate, but they say they'd really like to get everyone out so they don't have to do water rescues during the storm.
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