New Jersey declares state of emergency ahead of Hurricane Joaquin

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie has declared a state of emergency ahead of Hurricane Joaquin, which could bring severe flooding and heavy winds to the state, as well as other states on the East Coast.

Christie, speaking at a press conference on Thursday morning, said the state has activated its emergency operations center and is working with other government agencies to prepare for the storm and to monitor forecasts.

Although the forecasts remain uncertain, Christie said that weather reports are not encouraging and authorities will consider evacuations in the southern part of the state, if necessary. He is urging resident to stay informed as forecasts become available.

“There are two concerns for New Jersey coming out of the next 4 days of weather. The immediate threat is for severe flooding on Friday and Saturday,” the governor said. “The second is tracking the path of Joaquin as those forecasts become clearer over the next 24 hours to 72 hours.”

Christie added: “At this point, it is just too soon to say with any certainty whether or not Joaquin is likely to have a direct impact on New Jersey or not. Those paths are changed a number of times .. and so we’ll have greater degrees of certainty as the hours pass, and we’ll prepare ourselves for what those paths will tell us over the course of that time.”

“But whether or not Joaquin is a direct issue for New Jersey by Monday, we know that there is definitely going to be moderate and likely to be major flooding events in South Jersey on Friday and Saturday,” he said.

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