New Jersey Shore Empties Ahead Of Irene

On the New Jersey Shore, officials have ordered mandatory evacuations and residents are preparing for the onslaught of Hurricane Irene. NPR's Jeff Brady reports.

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JEFF BRADY: I'm Jeff Brady, south of New York on the New Jersey shore. Officials here have ordered mandatory evacuations. Governor Chris Christie had this message for stragglers on the beach Friday evening.

Governor CHRIS CHRISTIE: Do not waste any more time working on your tan. Get off the beach. Get out of your beach houses and get to safer ground.

BRADY: Even as the governor delivered that message, there were plenty of people on the beach. At the Ventnor City beach, just south of Atlantic City, Kevin Boyer is here with a couple of friends and says he's ready to ride out the storm in his parent's house.

KEVIN BOYER: I did buy a lot of beer, made sure we're stocked with alcohol and games, something to do. I took a couple of coolers, filled them up with a ton of water just from the tap, to make sure in case we can't drink the water.

BRADY: Authorities have warned parts of the shore could go days or even weeks without electricity if the storm is as powerful as predicted. That's why Kristy Bourdon was in Ventnor just through Friday evening, to secure her beach house.

KRISTY BOURDON: I'm just bringing some furniture upstairs. We brought all of the furniture from outside and the grill in the garage and elevated it.

BRADY: Bourdon says she wanted to get a few minutes more on the beach before resuming work.

BOURDON: We don't have a ton of stuff 'cause we're renovating a house but at the same time the house is finally complete and we might be getting all this water surge is a little frightening. But what can you do?

BRADY: Nearby, Barbara Schweitzer lives here year-round and thinks her brick house will be fine.

BARBARA SCHWEITZER: But the house next door was put up a few years ago and I'm wondering how well constructed it is. It's very beautiful but I don't know how - I hope it stays just the way it looks right now.

BRADY: A lot of people enjoy spending their summer vacations at the Jersey Shore and many of them also hope that after Irene passes by, this beautiful place will stay just the way it looks right now. Jeff Brady, NPR News, Ventnor City, New Jersey.

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