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LIVE UPDATES: Tropical storm warnings dropped, power outages continue

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Atlantic City Electric released the following information in regards to the power outages, which, at one point, consumed 209,000 customers.

“We will continue to work around the clock until every customer is restored,” said Gary Stockbridge, Atlantic City Electric region president. “This storm was incredibly destructive, and we will continue to keep our customers informed as we complete our assessments of the damage. We know power outages can add additional stress during an already difficult time and we want customers to know that we are working to restore their service safely and as quickly as possible.” 

A significant amount of work remains to repair the damage and customers should be prepared for a multi-day restoration effort.

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Ocean County roads crews continued to scour the 618 miles of county roads on Wednesday for downed trees and broken branches causing havoc for motorists and homeowners. The county also issued an emergency declaration allowing the county to tap into resources in order to expedite the ongoing cleanup and other storm related activities.

Freeholder Director Joseph H. Vicari. met with Gov. Murphy earlier Wednesday in Jackson Township and told the governor that the largest concern is the power outages.

“We have a very large senior population and also the number of people in the County swells at this time of year due to our tourism season,” Vicari said. “From our most vulnerable citizens to our visitors, getting power restored is paramount at this time.”

County residents can bring storm debris including downed tree branches to the county’s regional recycling centers located in Lakewood and Stafford Township.

“Our homeowners can access the county recycling centers with their storm debris,” said Ocean County Freeholder Gary Quinn, who is liaison to the county’s recycling program. “I am happy we can provide this free service to our residents so they can quickly clean up their properties.”

Widespread power outages continues to impact South Jersey.

As of 5:35 p.m., only Buena Borough and Brigantine had less than 5 percent of their towns without power, according to Atlantic City Electric. 

In Long Beach Island, over 99 percent of the island was without power. On mainland Ocean County, over 98 percent of the region was powerless. 

There is no estimated restoration time form the company. 

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The tropical storm warnings are dropped for South Jersey. At the 5 p.m. update, Tropical Storm Isaias was located near Albany, New York, with maximum sustained winds of 65 mph. The tropical storm wind field remains large, stretching from Long Island to central Vermont. 

Official Forecast

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In addition to the Tornado in Marmora, the National Weather Service also reported a second in Ship Bottom.  

A waterspout came ashore near the borough on Long Beach Island Tuesday morning, part of a line of cellular thunderstorms on the northeastern side of the storm. A weather gauge measured a wind gust of 109 mph at 10:53 a.m.

The Ocean City Fire Department responded to a house on Central Avenue in the city after a roof uplifted from a house on Tuesday. Much of South Jersey is in a tornado and flood watch as Tropical Storm Isaias bears down on the Northeast, leaving more than 100,000 people without power in the area. The New Jersey coast can see winds up to 70 miles per hour due to the storm.

At least two trees are down in Dorset Avenue in Ventnor.

At 1 p.m. there were currently more then 3,000 active outages across South Jersey, according to Atlantic City Electric's outage map. 

There are more than 150,000 customers affected, according to the site.

Atlantic City Electric map

Atlantic City Electric outage map as of about 11:15 a.m.

Last night, Gov. Phil Murphy signed an Executive Order placing New Jersey under a State of Emergency for the storm.

“We urge all New Jerseyans to stay off the roads and stay at home today,” he said during a storm briefing Tuesday morning.

The entire state is under a flash-flood watch, and areas may experience some flooding, especially in low-lying areas. 

“If you are out on our roads and come across a flooded section, do not attempt to cross it,” he said. “Turn around, don’t drown. Especially with the flash-flood watches in effect, some flooded streets may have currents swift enough to wash a car into them.

He added that the state can expect wind gusts in excess of 40 miles per hour across most of the state, with the potential for even more damaging winds in excess of 70 miles-per-hour along the coastal areas.

A tornado watch is also posted for the entire state. Some watches will expire for some counties at noon, others at 4 p.m.

Lower Township officials asked residents to stay off the roads while officials clean storm damage from township roads.

"The Lower Township Office of Emergency Management is requesting that residents please try and stay off our roadways for the next several hours," according to a news release from police. "There are multiple trees and wires down across roadways from storm damage and our DPW Crews need time to clear the storm debris and trees. Thank you for your cooperation and patience."

 A tornado warning is in effect for parts of Cape May and Atlantic counties through 10:15 a.m.

A tornado is on the ground in Strathmere. 

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A tree was knocked down on the Garden State Park way near mile marker 24, according to a a First Responder Twitter account.

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A tornado warning was in effect for parts of Cumberland County. However, that has since been cancelled. 

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At 9:15 a.m. Jerry Inderwies, Jr. City Manger and Emergency Management Director reported up to 10 fire calls, downed wires and a "surge" of winds in Cape May. 

A storm, with radar indicated rotation with in. passed just to the west of the city. However, strong winds were still present within the cells, which did move through. 

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Two separate tornado watches are in effect for South Jersey Tuesday.

The first covers Atlantic and Cumberland Counties, and is in effect until noon. The next one is in effect for Atlantic, Ocean and counties northward. That is in effect until 4 p.m. 

Damage can occur with these storms, before the strongest winds from Isaias moves in. If you are in a tornado warning, get to the center of your building and to the lowest level, away from windows. 

All state Motor Vehicle Commission offices will be closed Tuesday due to the storm, according to the state.

The Casino Reinvestment Development Authority, or CRDA, has authorized the Wave Parking Garage, located at the corner of Mississippi and Fairmount avenues, to provide free overnight parking for all Atlantic City residents and visitors from 8:00 p.m. Monday evening through 8:00 a.m. Wednesday in preparation for the impending Tropical Storm Isaias, according to a news release.

Overnight parking will only be permitted on the 4th floor of the garage during this time, according to the release. Standard parking personnel will be on duty through the overnight hours. Residents will be required to show proof of residency.

Parking will be validated at the exit gate upon departure.

The Cove Beach in Hamilton Township will be closed to swimming on Tuesday due to expected Tropical Storm Isaias. The Cove will open again on Thursday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Due to the forecast of inclement weather related to Tropical Storm Isaias, curbside service at Atlantic County library branches is canceled for Tuesday but is expected to resume at all branches on Wednesday, from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., unless otherwise noted, according to a news release from the city.

For more information, visit www.atlanticlibrary.org or contact your local branch.

Cape May County officials have announced cancellations to government due to the storm.

The Freeholder Caucus scheduled for Tuesday has been canceled, according to a news release from the county. The caucus and regular Freeholder meeting will take place on Aug. 11 at 3 p.m. and the regular Freeholder meeting is scheduled for 4:30 pm.

Fare Free Transportation is suspending all services to the barrier islands on Tuesday and Wednesday, due to the potential of flooding, officials said. All services to the mainland will continue on the regular schedule during this time.

All services to the barrier islands will resume on Thursday, according to the release. There is no change to the services to the mainland during this weather incident.

Meals on Wheels will provide double service to cover meals for both Tuesday and Wednesday for those living on the barrier islands and impacted by the canceled services, officials said.

The Cape May County Park and Zoo are closed.

Check the zoo’s website at www.cmczoo.com and the county government website at www.capemaycountynj.gov for storm information and additional closings and cancelations.

Freeholder Director Gerald M. Thornton advised all residents and visitors to take this storm warning seriously and follow safety guidelines in preparing for and during the storm.

“Remove or secure outdoor furniture and other items that can blow away from the high winds associated with a tropical storm and hurricane,” officials said. “Stay indoors during the storm and if you must go out, avoid flood-prone areas for your safety and the safety of First Responders. Everyone is advised to follow posted notices at all beaches, and U.S. Coast Guard restrictions on boating during this storm. “

South Jersey is bracing for impact Tuesday morning as Tropical Storm Isaias is expected to bring heavy rains, dangerous rip currents and roadway flooding.

Gov. Phil Murphy is scheduled to hold a briefing at 10 a.m. about the storm.

Isaias was downgraded from a hurricane to a tropical storm Monday after making landfall near Ocean Isle Beach, North Carolina, according to an official with the National Hurricane Center.

The hurricane had touched down just after 11 p.m. on Monday with maximum sustained winds of 85 mph (136 km/h). The storm now has maximum sustained winds of 70 miles per hour (117 km/h).

“Now that the center has moved further inland into east North Carolina, the winds are now coming back down, so it has been downgraded back to a tropical storm,” Robbie Berg, a hurricane specialist with the National Hurricane Center, told The Associated Press.

The weather service also said in its 4 a.m. advisory that threats of tornadoes were beginning to spread into southeastern Virginia.

The storm set off flooding and sparked five home fires in Ocean Isle Beach, Debbie Smith, the town’s Mayor, told WECT-TV. Firefighters from the town’s fire department were battling the blaze with assistance from Horry County firefighters in South Carolina, Tony Casey, a spokesperson for Horry County Fire Rescue, told The Associated Press.

About 80 miles (128 kilometers) north of Ocean Isle Beach, about 30 people were displaced due to a fire at a condominium complex in Surf City, news outlets reported. It is not clear if the fires were connected to the storm. No injuries have been reported.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Contact: 609-272-7241

mbilinski@pressofac.com

Twitter @ACPressMollyB

Staff Writer

My beat is public safety, following police and crime. I started in January 2018 here at the Press covering Egg Harbor and Galloway townships. Before that, I worked at the Reading Eagle in Reading, Pa., covering crime and writing obituaries.

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