Lots to do, see and enjoy and the storm will be gone

FREEHOLD, NJ – It looked as though the unofficial last weekend of the summer had been thrown a curveball with the threat of Hurricane Earl, but the National Weather Service is forecasting a beautiful Labor Day weekend in Monmouth County.

Local tourism and emergency management officials are delighted with the forecast and are expecting the storm to be well-passed the Monmouth coastline by sunrise on Saturday.

“Weather reports are telling us that we can expect a great, long weekend in Monmouth County,” said Glenn Mason, coordinator of the county’s Office of Emergency Management. “Visitors and residents should be ready to enjoy their weekend. Our office will continue to watch the weather and respond accordingly to any storm related incidents or conditions that occur.”

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Lifeguard crews along Monmouth County’s 27 miles of ocean shoreline anticipate being open to swimming for the three-day weekend. On Friday, September 3, many of the county’s ocean waters were closed to swimmers in response to high surf conditions and the increased incidence of rip currents.

“We always remind beachgoers to swim in an area protected by a lifeguard,” said Michael Fowler, lifeguard supervisor at the county’s Seven Presidents Oceanfront Park. “This weekend is no exception.  There may be some residual rough surf, but the lifeguards up and down the coast know the water and work to protect people from any dangerous conditions.”

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Seven Presidents crew putting a surfboat in the water during a competition.

If you are not a beachgoer, there are lots of other things you can do this weekend.

“Monmouth County is the place that people want to be this summer weekend,” Jeanne DeYoung, the county tourism director said. “There is a lot to do - live theater, concerts, museums, historic sites, lighthouses, wineries, horse farms, farmers’ markets, boardwalks, parks, golf courses, shopping venues, racetracks and antiques centers are just a start.”

The county’s Web site highlights places to stay, things to do, outdoor activities and local history. It is the best way for visitors and residents to easily discover all of the local activities and attractions.

Mason also reminds residents that while this storm is not expected to impact the county greatly, they should prepare now for the future weather-related emergencies.

“Taking some basics steps now means you will be ready for virtually any big weather event or other disaster that may affect Monmouth County. Every resident should prepare, plan and stay informed,” said Mason.

Every household should assemble a kit of emergency supplies that includes batteries, flashlight, radio, first-aid kit, medications, food and water to last three or more days, can opener, cooking tools and toiletries. For a complete list of items, visit the Ready.gov Web site.

Residents should also create an emergency plan and stay informed.  Because a family may not be together when disaster strikes, a plan should be in place to contact one another, such as enlisting the help of a third party in another state as a contact. You should also listen to local radio and television for the latest information on storms and other emergencies.

Throughout the entire hurricane event, the county’s Office of Emergency Management worked closely with federal, state and local partners to prepare for this storm. The office also worked with many county departments to pull together the resources anticipated during the storm and in its aftermath.

“The county’s 9-1-1 Communications Center is prepared to handle emergencies during a storm,” Monmouth County Sheriff Sean Golden said. “In this instance, equipment has been checked to ensure its reliability and additional operators are available to deal with the influx of emergency calls.”

“A storm event creates an extremely busy time at the 9-1-1 Communications Center and we ask that people call the center for emergency purposes only,” added Golden.

Additional information about storm and disaster preparations are available on the county’s Web site at www.visitmonmouth.com.

Most county offices will be closed on Monday, September 6 in observance of the Labor Day holiday. All county parks and golf courses will remain open.