I would advise pulling out and getting off LBI at this point. There is still some time to go but there are very few encouraging signs and most of the bad scenarios are still on the table unfortunately. Of course this storm has little chance of living up to the hype. But at this point I would advise no one of taking a risk and perhaps hogging emergency resources to bail them out later. The odds are not good enough to play around with this one.
There has been a lot of talk about complacency, which is totally understandable. But it is important to remember that no two cyclones are alike, so whatever experiences we’ve have had in the past, with Irene for example, have absolutely nothing to do with Sandy. Almost everyone who has ever misjudged and become pinned down in a Hurricane (Katrina included) did so because of the very same complacency many of us feel right now.
The worst problem now with Sandy is that she maintained a healthy distance from the coast as she passed the Carolinas. Carteret, NC historically has one of the highest probabilities for landfalls on the East Coast. The way it sticks its nose out into the sea makes it obvious why. Often, this land mass will deal a significant blow to a northbound cyclone from which it will never recover. That’s exactly what happened with Irene. You could literally see the storm fall apart as Carteret and the rest of NC chewed her wings off.
But Sandy still has its stuff together after that pass.
On the wind side of things I’d guess we’ll be OK. It’s difficult for cyclones to gain strength over the mid Atlantic’s cooler waters. Even if she lands with her best force of 75-100 MPH, the Island, and probably your house, can withstand this.
I think storm surge is the real risk here. There is a high probability Long Beach Island could see a storm surge for which she has not been tested in the modern era. We have better dunes, smarter building codes, pilings, and replenished beaches, all in anticipation of what is forecast here. But this could be the first time any of that has really been tested since the big one.
I would suggest to anyone on the fence about evac at this point to let our delicate little Long Beach Island face her test from the monstrous sea in private dignity.