Nightly News   |  August 27, 2011

Evacuation shelters nearing capacity in N.J.

More than one million people have evacuated the Jersey shore in the past 24 hours, and they’re quickly filling makeshift shelters. NBC’s Michelle Franzen reports.

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

>> much. before this storm is over, one of the big stories is going to be what it does to the new jersey shore . obviously, a hugely popular place. and the tail end of summer, this time of year. spoke with governor chris christie earlier today. he notes that one million people have gotten out and driven away from the new jersey shore . now, all that is left to do is see what it michelle franzen , conditions have deteriorated over the last two, three hours?

>> they have. we are just getting started. brian. we have been talking about how people in the area, along the stretch of the east coast are just not used to dealing with hurricanes this massive in size and strength. today, though, people had the unique and eerie opportunity of preparing for irene's arrival here by watching the destruction she has already caused further south.

>> reporter: evacuation shelters throughout new jersey are at or near full capacity tonight.

>> it has been an eye opening experience.

>> reporter: local families and tourists settling as hurricane irene moves in.

>> we try to be happy and we're together.

>> reporter: andrea rhodes weight it out at wall township high school after her senior center was evacuated in asbury park . others like this family in belmar left their home voluntarily.

>> we wanted to go to higher ground and make sure the kids are safe. the governor in no uncertain terms ordered them to get out.

>> this is not going to be a pleasant experience for anybody.

>> reporter: with one exception despite hundreds evacuated in atlantic city the governor says some 600 senior citizens refused to leave their high rise . he apelz peals to them personally.

>> go to family. go to friend. co-workers, neighbors. go some place that is safe. there will come a point in time later this evening that we are not going to be able to move you.

>> reporter: hurricane irene is expected to rake the jersey store with major storm surge and inland flooding along with wind damage. dire predictions, but still not enough to spoil this bride's special day. wendy miller and eric green were supposed to get married on the beach. in stepped the ceremony moved inside. the weather kept many from attending, but wnbc's brian thompson ended up sharing their nuptials live, with wall to wall storm coverage.

>> we were honored.

>> reporter: a compromise for the happy cup. but as we have seen all along the east coast , so far, irene has been unrelenting.

>> along the famous stretch of boardwalk on the jersey store.