A continuation of our series on the proposed removal of the Pequannock and Pompton Dams...
Risks of Removal:
It is a fact that by removing the Pequannock and Pompton Dams, water will flow through the region faster and with greater force than if it were slowed by the presence of these large immovable objects. The effects of this substantially increased waterflow upon the sand and clay riverbanks, as well as the many twists and turns in the river, has yet to be determined, but anyone who has ever cleared away mud with a pressure washer can appreciate the cause for concern.
What would be the effects upon Pequannock's flood prone residents if the amount of water passing through were to double in speed and volume in the same amount of time? This remains to be determined, or even studied in depth by the state.
Bridge abuttments might also be at risk from the increased water flow.
Though not tax-paying residents, one also might consider the effects on trees overlooking the river as well as the fish, amphibians, birds, and even shellfish who make their homes in the river's fertile shallows.
Farther south, an even stickier situation: the Two Bridges Sewer Authority in Lincoln Park which I toured with Mayor Phelan in the Spring and which already sees so much flooding that it has on occasion pumped out untreated sewage into the river, would see an even higher level of flooding. No need for a study here, just basic mathematics and a map; nothing would stand between it and the full force of water blasting downstream.
Tomorrow, we conclude this series (until more information becomes available at least) with a timeline of the Morris Canal, of which both effected dams are a part.
Christopher Lotito is a member of the Pequannock Environmental, Historic District, and Flood Control Advisory Commissions as well as the author of "Torrent," a book about flooding in the region. Lotito's personal mission is to reduce new taxes, drastically reduce flooding, and preserve more green spaces for our children. Christopher Lotito Profile