All Ocean City residents must evacuate the island by 4 p.m. on Sunday as a major coastal storm is expected to make landfall somewhere on the New Jersey coastline late Monday (Oct. 29).
The mandatory evacuation order for all residents of barrier islands in New Jersey was issued by state officials on Saturday morning and confirmed by Ocean City Business Administrator Mike Dattilo.
Atlantic County's barrier islands also must evacuate by 4 p.m. Sunday.
The city expects to release more information on the evacuation, on planned shelter locations and on road closings early this afternoon (check back with Ocean City Patch for full details).
A new weather briefing to emergency management officials updated at 10 a.m. Saturday morning (see attached PDF) suggests the region will see sustained winds of 35 to 45 mph (with gusts up to 65 mph) over a 24- to 48-hour period. But as it approaches the coast late on Monday, the storm will still have sustained winds of 70 mph with hurricane gusts (74 mph or greater) possible.
"This is a very dangerous scenario," Joe Miketta of the NOAA National Weather Service's Philadelphia/Mt. Holly Office writes.
As in earlier briefings, the NWS suggests that record coastal flooding is possible, as the storm will hit during an exceptionally high full-moon tide.
"A ten foot storm tide (surge + astronomical tide) is possible along the Atlantic Coast and in the Delaware Bay based on where the storm center comes ashore. This would result in record coastal flooding in some areas," according to the briefing.
High tides at the Ninth Street Bridge in Ocean City occur at 8:27 a.m. and 8:46 p.m. on Monday (Oct. 29) then at 9:02 a.m. on Tuesday (Oct. 30).