With Hurricane Sandy pounding the Jersey Shore, residents of the predominantly Jewish town of Lakewood were taking every precaution to be safe.
Township officials closed public schools and canceled busing on Monday and Tuesday, meaning Lakewood’s large private school population, the majority of which attend local yeshivas, would not have transportation to and from school.
Lakewood is approximately 10 miles west from the Atlantic Ocean, but still lies directly in the line of Sandy’s projected path.
With area residents getting a head start on stocking up on supplies, clearing out aisles in local Target, Home Depot and other big box stores, Lakewood’s large ultra-Orthodox population quickly stored up on non-perishables at local markets on Sunday morning. By midday Sunday, there were reports of extreme shortages of generators, gasoline and bottled water.
Local officials also decided to drain Lake Carasaljo, which flows through the center of town and is approximately five miles in circumference, to prevent flooding near lakeshore houses and schools.
According to the website, Lakewood Local , Beth Medrash Govoha began posting fliers over the weekend, notifying students of a hotline to call to keep up to date on how the storm would affect operations at the university.
Another concern for local authorities was finding shelter for a homeless encampment in town, where dozens have taken up permanent residence in the woods, living in tents and other makeshift accommodations.