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UPDATE:Berkeley Officials to Open Up Local Shelter

Preparations underway to open up St. Maximilian Kolbe Church off Mule Road in western section of the township

The Berkeley Township Office of Emergency Management is preparing to open up St. Maximilian Kolbe R.C. Church off Mule Road as a shelter from Hurricane Irene, Mayor Jason J. Varano and Police Chief Karin T. DiMichele said.

Toms River North is nearing capacity as a shelter and there is a need to open more shelters for Berkeley residents, Varano and DiMichele said.

The shelter at the church will open at 3 p.m., Detective Sgt. James J. Smith said.

"While there is ample parking available at the shelter, all residents are urged to bring their own non-perishable food items," he said.

Residents who go to the church should bring blankets and any other items they may need, Smith said.

"We are requesting residents not to bring their pets to this shelter as we are not equipped to care for them," he said.

There are plans to open additional shelters for Berkeley residents if necessary, he said.

While neighboring towns such as Toms River are opening up elementary schools, Berkeley schools have no back-up generators, Freeholder Director Joseph H. Vicari said at an Ocean County Office of Emergency Management meeting yesterday.

Come back to Berkeley Patch soon for more information on the shelter opening.

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