The mission of St. Matthew's Lutheran Church is to love, welcome, nurture, and serve all people
by following the example of Jesus Christ.

Hurricane (now Tropical Storm) Irene

Sweet delight, most lovely, shining, faithful friend in love and grief,
Holy Spirit, all divining, ever with us, our relief.
As the rainfall comes, descending, wash and bless us with your grace;
all creation comprehending, sanctify our human race.

(Paul Gerhardt hymn, translated by Madeleine Marshall - thanks to Pr. Mary Forell, St. Matthew-Trinity in Hoboken.)

Updated Sun 8/28 2:00pm. The St. Matthew's building is in good shape, thanks to Vice President Mark Muntzel, Myrna Perez, Paul Ellis, and Gerry Bakirtjy for looking after that. Several members held a small worship service in the afternoon, with Paul Ellis preaching. The driving ban is lifted, but there may still be significant winds and rain, so exercise caution. Others in our region are not so fortunate, and there will be flooding in some rivers as the full effects of the storm will continue to unfold.

Updated Sun 8/28 8:30am. Power outage for most of Jersey City and Hoboken likely, with generating station shutdowns scheduled. Driving ban in effect for Jersey City until at least 11am.

Updated Sat 8/27 2:10pm. Jersey City Mayor Jerramiah T. Healy in consultation with the Office of Emergency Management & Homeland Security has ordered a Mandatory Evacuation Order for the following locations effective: 4:00 PM today Saturday August 27th 2011.

· Residents residing in ground floor/1st floor buildings for all streets East of Green Street from Essex St North to Christopher Columbus Drive.
· Residents residing in ground floor/1st floor buildings for all streets East of Washington Boulevard from Christopher Columbus Drive North to 18th Street
· Residents residing in ground floor/1st floor buildings in Port Liberte
· Residents residing in ground floor/1st floor buildings in Society Hill
· Country Village

Jersey City has opened six Emergency Shelters throughout the city:
Shelter Locations are MS#4, 107 Bright Street, MS#7, 222 Laidlaw Avenue, PS#17, 600 Bergen, PS#28, 339 Stegman Parkway, Dickinson High School, 2 Palisade, and the Jersey City Armory, 678 Montgomery Street. Please note none of the shelter locations have pet capabilities.

Residents in mandatory evacuation areas are encouraged to seek refuge with family and friends who reside in higher areas or areas that will not be as severely impacted as Jersey City. If these residents have no place to go, they should evacuate to the Jersey City Armory.

NJ Transit buses are scheduled to run until 6 p.m. tonight, while the Hudson Bergen Light Rail trains will run until 5 p.m. Any senior citizens or disabled persons who need transportation to one of the city’s emergency shelters can call 201-547-5684.

Additional information to follow. See cityofjerseycity.com for current local instructions.

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Updated Sat 8/27 8:30am. While the storm may be weakening, current projections put it on track for New York City with a storm surge of 7-11 feet of additional water in New York Harbor. It is expected to make landfall at Sun 10am as a Category 1 hurricane with sustained winds at or above 74mph.

Flood prone areas in downtown Jersey City
(click on map to enlarge)
Areas in green: severe hazard; in pale yellow: moderate hazard.
From FEMA's JC_Flood_Hazard_Zones

See cityofjerseycity.com for current local instructions. If emergency shelter is needed, the downtown shelter is Middle School #4 at 107 Bright Street, across from Jersey City Medical Center.

God of the whirlwind, watch over all in the path of the storm. Calm our fears, and meet us even in the wind and waves. Protect your people, and give us the courage to reach out to one another, in the name of Jesus. Amen.