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Booker Urges Newark to Prepare for Nor'easter, School Opening Wednesday as Planned

Those in flood-prone areas should leave now, mayor says

As if the Garden State hasn't already suffered enough, a nor’easter is expected to bring substantial precipitation and wind gusts of up to 40 mph, and possibly higher, sometime during the day Wednesday.

Mayor Cory Booker Tuesday once again found himself urging residents to hunker down for a storm, albeit one not nearly as powerful as last week’s Hurricane Sandy but one that still promises to heap yet more misery onto a region where tens of thousands remain without power.

In Newark as of Tuesday afternoon, 40,000 residents still have no electricity, down from 50,000 Monday.

“Because of the weakened trees we have, the damage from this storm could be significant,” Booker said from the city’s emergency management headquarters on Clinton Avenue. “We are asking you to take this storm seriously.”

Booker strongly urged residents to go back into pre-Sandy mode, taking common sense precautions like getting flashlights, filling bathtubs with water, stocking up on perishable food and other measures necessary in the event of a power outage.

He also said residents in known flood-prone areas should leave Tuesday, either to a friend or relative’s home, or to the city shelter at 211 W Kinney St. He also urged those in need of blankets or a hot meal to call the city’s non-emergency line, 973-733-4311. 

During Sandy, first-responders were not immediately able to reach residents trapped by rising floodwaters.

(A list of known flood areas can be found here.)

Despite the storm, school will open as planned Wednesday, Booker added, with all but the Harriet Tubman school without power as of Tuesday afternoon (those students will attend classes at Speedway). Booker also said police officers will be stationed at all school buildings and plans are in the works to assist students in the event power goes out at buildings during the school day.

“City assets are being lent to that planning,” Booker said. “We still fully expect to have the resources necessary” if there are outages at schools tomorrow.

On Tuesday, Booker also urged people to call 9-1-1 if they smell gas. He also asked that residents report downed power lines by calling 800-436-7734.

For virtually all other non-emergency needs, including assistance with heat, Booker again asked residents to call the non-emergency number, 973-733-4311.

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