msnbc News   |  October 28, 2012

N.J. coast residents ordered to evacuate

NBC's Ron Allen reports from Point Pleasant Beach, N.J.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> city. and ron allen in point pleasant beach, new jersey for us. ron what is the latest from you? last we checked, surf was enormous. wow, looks like it's even worse.

>> reporter: it's getting bigger, and it's getting stronger. last time we put a block on it, 30-mile-per-hour gusts, i think it's getting stronger. you can see the enormous expanse of beach, completely empty now. there were some people down here earlier, taking pictures and gawking at the waves and everything, but they've moved back and most of the people that i talked to, informal poll, say they are leaving, only a few people said they would hang around and try and ride this out. some live a mile away from the shore. intown, police have been going door to door , trying to force a man tomandatory evacuation. point pleasant beach and the other barrier island towns, pretty deserted. all of the towns completely boarded up and evacuated. people taking this seriously, there are lines at gas stations , you can obviously see there is traffic moving off the islands, over the bridges, to the mainland, but the storm surge here is going to be about -- well, they say 8 to 10 feet , which means this entire beach is going to be covered with water, several feet deep. and the water could push back into town, about six blocks or so, going in that direction. again, several feet deep. so there is a barrier of dunes here that will block what it can, and that helped when irene hit and the water stopped there, but this storm is expected to top those dunes, go over these dunes, back into the town. that's why they have a mandatory evacuation right now. and people are saying that when irene hit here, there wasn't a lot of coastal damage. most of the damage was further inland. and the beaches were spared for the most part. this storm will be very different. people are saying, the forecasters are saying, bottom line , this beach empty, people taking it very seriously.

>> that's the best news for now. with the surf and the description are you giving, a pretty powerful punch could be coming to point pleasant.