Cape May has been awarded a $35,000 state grant toward a $75,000 project to install a public address system on the beachfront.

Mayor Ed Mahaney said the PA system could be important in a hurricane but could also be useful in smaller storms, such as those involving lightning, in which the goal is to get people out of the water and evacuate the strand quickly.

“It will be controlled by the Cape May Beach Patrol but can also operate from the Police Department or on a mobile command,” Mahaney said Saturday.

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The grant comes from the state Department of Law and Public Safety. The city will pay for the installation, including labor costs. The system will reach beachgoers from Third to Wilmington avenues, more than two miles in all.

“This communication system will provide an instant means to notify beachgoers and waterfront guests of an emergency situation. Cape May City’s remote location makes it imperative that everything possible be done to alert the community early during an emergency to keep the public informed and so that evacuation can occur in an orderly manner,” Mahaney said.

The system will be managed from Cape May Beach Patrol headquarters at the Grant Street beach. It can also be controlled remotely from the police station on Washington Street or moved as needed if mobile command of an emergency is called for.

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