Rocking a suit with no tie -- and flanked by his lieutenant governor, homeland security director and the uniform-clad leaders of the state police and New Jersey National Guard -- Gov. Christie canceled your weekend plans this afternoon.
Referencing a lady named Irene, Christie told weekend Shore-trippers to stay away this weekend. He told residents living near the ocean in Atlantic, Cape May and Ocean counties to begin evacuating now. And he told everyone else near the Shore to get ready to get out.
Mandatory evacuations are being considered.
"I understand sometimes folks think we overreact in a situation like this. We are not overreacting," he said.
Christie spoke interrupted his week-long staycation at the gubernatorial, taxpayer-supported beach house on Island Beach State Park, just south of Seaside Heights, to meet with officials and the media today at the state police Regional Operations Center ("The Rock") in Ewing. He said he'd be leaving the beach house tonight and head either home to Mendham or to the governor's mansion, Drumthwacket, which would allow him to monitor the storm from the nearby Rock.
"I'm leading by example," Christie said. "I'm on a barrier island right now with my wife and four kids -- we won't be there tonight...People who are upset they're cutting short their vacation -- I feel their pain."
Christie spoke of the possibilities of 12-foot tides, 80 mph winds, a foot of rainfall and a 100-year flood.
"Jerseyans are generally tough and cynical -- I guess that's why they elected me," Christie said. "Well a tough and cynical guy is telling them not to be cynical."
In other words, believe him when he says: "Don't go."