Daily Fishing and Outdoor Report

Thursday, August 25, 2011: 7:30 p.m.

With a voluntary evacuation in place until 8 a.m. tomorrow – when a mandatory one kicks in – a full-blown flow of outbound folks is heading to the mainland from LBI. There is also a fairly steady flow of vehicles onto the Island, obviously driven by folks hell-bent on shoring up their Island properties before Irene kicks into town.

An equally motivated group is mariners arriving in an effort to pull their vessels out of the water. Any boat left in is likely going to get critically rocked. For boats left in port, the twisted finger of fate will decide which drowns and which floats.

At 7:30 p.m., every public launch on LBI was backed up to hell and back -- trucks and trailers on line and awaiting arriving vessels. That parking lot sit-and-wait has been made more aggravating by cloudburst rains. Just imagine the folks piloting the vessels in a bay with bolts banging about.

Weather irony: I‘m going to make an educated guess that tomorrow will be absolutely gorgeous. No wind and happy-go-lucky sun. The few ‘canes I’ve experienced here have always been preceded by the most innocent weather imaginable. The one famed thing I’ve never seen is an odd yellowing of the sky, pre-hurricane. Ever hear of that harbinger?

The building at the circle in Ship Bottom, with the Beach haven Auto Parts and Lex Mex restaurant, is flying the famed hurricane warning flags atop its roof. Quite cool – and admittedly a tad ominous.

Right now, it seems unlikely that police will enforce the just-signed law that trailers -- with boats, cars, ATVs, etc. – will be banned from the roads during state-designated evacuations – like tomorrow’s. I’m guessing that only because so many folks are leaving early (now) that this mandatory evacuation won’t be over critical, time-wise. Had it been a sudden storm, with a mad rush to escape LBI, trailers would be verboten.

Emergency note: Cell phones have proven lifesaving devices when the sky hits the fan. However, service can get very restricted. During the recent earthquake, there was absolutely no getting a call out here on LBI. However, texting is very low-demand. Such vital messaging has managed to get through during disasters around the world. Keep in mind, when a disaster gets drawn out, that cell phone lifeline can easily run out of juice, especially when electricity is lost. Keep the use of the cell phone to a bare/safe minimum. No idle chatting. Recharging units which run off car/truck batteries are ideal.

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