UPDATE: Driving Restrictions Remain as Township Anticipates Extreme Storm Surge

More than 12,000 Lacey residents are without power; schools will be closed Tuesday and Wednesday


High tide is approaching, Municipal Clerk and Township Administrator Veronica Laureigh said.

The township is anticipating storm surge in the lagoon areas and a 10 to 12 foot storm surge along the coast, she said.

"We ask residents to please stay put in your homes. Even though it appears to be calm out, there are hazards in the road," she said.

Trees have been uprooted and wires are down. Live wires may still exist, she said.

"The ground is saturated and roots of trees are fragile," she said.

Traffic lights are out and JCP&L is reporting more than 12,000 Lacey residents without power, she said.

"We ask for no sight seeing," she said.

Driving restrictions have also not been lifted, Laureigh said.

"An assessment during day light tomorrow will be made before driving restrictions are lifted. Just because it appears clear in your neighborhood, other areas of the township are not,"

Roadways are flooded and the depth of the water is unknown, she said.

Municipal offices will be closed on Tuesday. Garbage and recycling pick up is canceled for Tuesday. Pick up will occur on your next regular scheduled day.

The Municipal Court session is also canceled for Tuesday. All appearances will be re-scheduled and notices will be sent via mail.

Lacey schools will be closed Tuesday and Wednesday.


7:30 p.m. Update:

Lacey schools will be closed on Tuesday and Wednesday, Superintendent Dr. Sandra Brower said.

Lacey Township continues to deal with flooding, downed wires and trees and power outages.

As of 7:30 p.m., JCP&L was reporting 11,992 residents without power.

"Right now we're batten down. We're hoping for the best and expecting the worst," Mayor Mark Dykoff said. 

The township is experiencing widespread power outages, similar to the rest of Ocean County, he said.

Approximately 35,124 Toms River residents have been affected, 2,435 in Ocean Township, 11,559 in Berkeley Township, 7,696 in Manchester Township and 4,636 in Barnegat.

"We're coping as best as we can," Dykoff said. "Right now, we've got no emergencies that we can't deal with."

Dykoff hopes that all those Lacey residents living within 1,000 feet of a lagoon, bay, creek or river adhered to the mandatory evacuation, he said.

"For those who haven't, we wish them the best," he said.

The areas throughout Lacey typical of flooding have done so, he said.

"At this point in time, we can't tell if it's any worse," he said.

After the high tide hits at midnight, the township will have a better idea of the damage done, he said.

"The worst is yet to come," he said. "I hope everyone is safe."


5:30 p.m. Update:

A "tremendous" number of trees and wires have fallen throughout the township, Municipal Clerk and Township Administrator Veronica Laureigh said.

The fire departments and Public Works are moving trees from roadways under safe conditions--if there are no wires involved, she said.

A traffic light is out at Lacey Road and Manchester Avenue after a pole snapped, she said.

"Electric is sporadic throughout the township," she said.

As of 5:30 p.m., the JCP&L power outage map is reporting 8,192 Lacey customers affected.

All waterfront areas are experiencing extreme flooding, she said. Emergency services have not had to perform any rescues.

"We are still urging everyone to stay off the roads. Conditions are changing minute by minute," Laureigh said. "One cannot assess when a pole or tree are going to come down, it could happen right on top of a car while driving."


3:45 p.m. Update:

According to JCP&L’s power outage map, 4,919 customers are affected in Lacey Township as of 3:45 p.m. Report power outages to JCP&L at 1-888-544-4877.


2:45 p.m. Update:

Township officials continue to alert residents to stay off the roads. The following roads have been closed:

  • Western Boulevard due to down wires at Colgate Avenue
  • Lacey Road at the intersection of Manchester Avenue due to down poles
  • Hanley and Rogers due to down wires
  • All streets east of 900 Beach Boulevard
  • GSP closed from Exit 0 to Exit 63, both directions

According to JCP&L’s power outage map, 1,820 customers are affected in Lacey Township as of 2:50 p.m. Report power outages to JCP&L at 1-888-544-4877.


1 p.m. Update:

Cars are no longer permitted to travel along Lacey roads as of noon Monday.

On Sunday, the township issued a proclamation declaring a State of Emergency and announcing that all roads will be restricted to essential personnel only.

“If you have essential business to be out then you will be fine,” township Municipal Clerk and Business Administrator Veronica Laureigh said.

Those traveling on Lacey roads may be sited with a violation if they do not heed to the State of Emergency, she said.

“Lacey Police are asking residents to stay home and off the roads,” she said. “The residents will be allowed to go home but those on waterfront properties should really take shelter elsewhere. “

The streets along waterways are flooded, she said, although the depth is undetermined.

“We encourage residents to not drive around town, especially along the waterfront areas…We may not be able to rescue a car in a high amount of water,” she said.

Residents driving around are putting themselves and emergency personnel at risk, she said.

During the height of the storm, it is possible that emergency rescues may have to be curtailed for the safety of Lacey’s emergency service personnel, she said.

The lagoon streets are flooded and high tide has yet to hit, Laureigh said. The Forked River Beach roads are also flooded.

“It is expected to get much worse,” she said. “Residents and onlookers should heed the advice of the Mayor to stay off the road.”

Also on Sunday, the township required a mandatory evacuation for all those residents living within 1,000 feet of a lagoon, bay, creek or river. Many have adhered to that direction and found shelter elsewhere, Laureigh said.

“We are not forcibly removing residents from their homes,” she said. The township also did not require residents who chose to disregard the mandatory evacuation to sign a hold harmless agreement.

There is no word on damage as a result of downed branches but since 10 a.m., there were approximately 170 homes without power, she said.

According to JCP&L’s power outage map, 1,820 customers are affected in Lacey Township as of 2:34 p.m. Report power outages to JCP&L at 1-888-544-4877.

“This storm is not even close to being over,” Laureigh said.

proud October 29, 2012 at 06:48 PM
So nice of the township not to require residents to sign a hold harmless agreement. There was NO door to door announcements, bullhorns, or reverse 911 in my neighborhood as the residents were advised would happened. Didn't hear about the evacuation until late yesterday and the storm had already begun. Emergency mismanagement at it's finest. Thanks a lot.
lchuck13 October 29, 2012 at 07:19 PM
what? you dont read a newspaper or watch tv? use common sense, BIG STORM,LIVE NEAR WATER, MAYBE I SHOULD LEAVE? common sense died nov , 4 years ago, lets use common sense this nov 6.
jackie cv October 29, 2012 at 07:54 PM
To "proud" the zones with mandatory evacuation were post all over lacey patch, laceyOEM and the radio there is not excuse for you to say that they didn't informed you
Tracy Peccarelli Folk October 30, 2012 at 02:49 AM
wow guy, there were plenty of warnings.. on patch, around town, drive throughs with bullhorns etc.. dont blame the town, we all make our chices!
John October 30, 2012 at 03:05 AM
I'm two hours away in Pennsylvania and I knew about the evacuations
Chief Wahoo October 30, 2012 at 03:39 AM
Bigger news could be major alert at Oyster Creek.
Pharow October 30, 2012 at 05:29 AM
I did receive the 911 reverse call. It came on saturday around 2pm But anyone still breathing should have known this was a major storm and taken actions to secure property and life safety. Do not blame others. Township, police, and the patch have all been OUTSTANDING in all their communications.
Also Anonymous October 30, 2012 at 09:56 AM
Not to mention.... check ur voicemails on ur home phone. Everyone got a phone call on Sunday.


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