Monday morning was quiet at the Frank S. Farley Service Plaza on the Atlantic City Expressway.
There were few cars on the highway, and just a skeleton staff of seven at the rest area. Everything was closed except the Burger King. Only a few people came in during the morning, said Crystal Watson, 21. She drove from Buena to open up the Starbucks franchise at 5 a.m., but closed it an hour later.
With little to do, the employees watched the rain. “It’s not that bad out there,” said Jillian Wright, 20, of Buena. “It’s just windy and rainy.”
“I should be home, having a nice hot meal,” added Edward Crowder, 22, of Hammonton. “This is what I’ve been doing,” he said, as he watched the continual storm coverage from the overhead television showing CNN.
At about 10:10 a.m. Sherri Scotti stopped in. She was evacuating her home in Somers Point with her two sons, 17 and 20, her 73-year-old mother, and their 14-year-old dog. “The back of the home is like a lake,” said Scotti, whose home backs up to a marsh.
She had reserved rooms in a Cherry Hill hotel, and stopped at the rest area for two apple pies and a Cinnabon pastry for her mom. “Nobody told us to evacuate, but I’m leaving before it gets much worse.”
A few minutes later Hershel Zantua, 27, stopped by for a hamburger. He got up early to drive his girlfriend Zharina Clavio to Pitman, Gloucester County, before heading back to Galloway Township Clavio is a nurse at Ocean City’s Wesley Manor, Zantua said, which was evacuated to Pittman and Collingswood. “She’s going to spend the time there until Wednesday,” he said. “I hope.”