N.J. Governor Murphy Urges Safety as Hurricane Florence Approaches East Coast

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy and emergency officials urged caution Tuesday as Hurricane Florence approaches the East Coast even though the worst effects of the storm are expected to miss the state.

Murphy even jokingly channeled former Gov. Chris Christie’s 2012 admonition to shore residents to “get the hell off the beach” as Superstorm Sandy bore down on the state.

“I won’t repeat the words precisely, but please may I ask you to get off the beach. Pretty please?” Murphy said Tuesday.

Current forecasts showed Florence is expected to make a direct hit on Virginia and the Carolinas by Thursday, while New Jersey is expected to get a “glancing blow” beginning over the weekend.

That still means New Jersey’s coastal areas will get heavy rains, some flooding and high winds. Back bay areas are equally at risk for flooding as the coastline, Murphy said.

New Jersey is “not expected to bear the brunt,” Murphy said, but added any storm “is a good time for residents to assess their overall storm readiness.”

The state’s Board of Public Utilities said it is closely monitoring the four major companies that provide power to the state. The BPU mandated the utilities take additional actions to prepare for future storms after three March nor’easters left hundreds of thousands without power, some for as long as 11 days.

Murphy and New Jersey State Police Col. Patrick Callahan said the Department of Transportation was checking with service stations on the New Jersey Turnpike and Garden State Parkway to make sure all had fuel supplies at full capacity.