Roads are empty.
Schools are dark.
The mall is closed.
Emergency workers are at their posts.
Skies darkened and rain began falling hard as the county hunkered down, waiting for Hurricane Sandy to howl through here with its full power later today.
“Get out now,” said Mayor Rick Gray, urging residents to evacuate in flood-prone areas of the city. “If it doesn’t flood, thank God. If it does flood, you’re safe. We don’t want to be in a position to put our police officers and our firefighters in harm’s way because you didn’t evacuate.”
The first significant power outage hit late this morning, when about 600 people lost their electricity in the Elizabeth Township area, after power lines were reported down along Route 322 there.
But for most of the county, the morning was the calm before the Frankenstorm as local residents, who had days to buy flashlight batteries, stock up on water and clean out their gutters, waited for the storm.