A drill to keep you safe: New Jersey DOT runs hurricane evacuation drill in southern parts of state

A hurricane evacuation drill was held in Sandy Hook Thursday as forecasters say another active hurricane season could threaten areas along the coast, including New Jersey.

News 12 Staff

Jun 3, 2021, 11:38 AM

Updated 1,054 days ago

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A hurricane evacuation drill was held in Sandy Hook Thursday as forecasters say another active hurricane season could threaten areas along the coast, including New Jersey.
New Jersey Department of Transportation crews were set up on Route 9 North by Route 72, the main thoroughfare to get on and off Long Beach Island. They were practicing what's known as contraflow -- when all lanes of the major road flow in the same direction during evacuation orders. Thursday was just a drill, but for good reason
“If everyone tried to leave Long Beach Island at the same time, that would be chaos and we want to avoid that,” says Chris Feinthel, senior director of operations with the NJDOT.
It’s a plan in place for a not if, but when real life situation -- a hurricane bearing down on New Jersey during the busy summer. Sandy struck during the off-season; this plan would only be used through Labor Day Weekend.
“We put this in place after Hurricane Sandy,” says Feinthel. “It was after action, state and federal government helped create the plan.
Roads would flow in one direction away from barrier islands and vulnerable communities.
“The hard thing what we are trying to communicate is we will be probably be setting this up on a sunny day,” says Feinthel. “We'd be asking folks to leave the shore while it's beautiful out. We want everybody out before the storm gets here.”
The state is ultimately trying to avoid what happened along the Gulf Coast in 2005 during Hurricane Rita, when more people died evacuating then from the actual storm.


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