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Evacuations underway in coastal areas in NJ ahead of storm

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TOMS RIVER, NEW JERSEY (PIX11) – Voluntary evacuations are being urged for residents of Toms River and Brick River Township Wednesday as a powerful winter storm heads to the area.  It’s already wreaking havoc in the Midwest where strong winds and  snow are slamming the area.

The storm has already dumped heavy snow in some areas including Chicago, where 9 inches of snow had fallen at O’Hare International Airport by 9 p.m. Tuesday. More than 1,100 flights have been canceled leaving airports relatively empty.

Back here the storm could be bad news for residents who are already reeling from the damage caused by Superstorm Sandy. They are concerned about the wind, rain, and water that are on the way.

“People have already started moving stuff to higher areas on their homes,” Bay Head resident Carla Forsyth told PIX 11 News. “It’s windy, the water on the bay is up. They are taking about 20 foot waves on the ocean and the dunes are gone. We have no protection.”

While residents braced for the storm New Jersey transit announced they will cross honor all passes and tickets beginning at 2p.m. Wednesday through the end of service Thursday.  The move allowed riders to switch to three most convenient mode of transportation during the storm.