Army Corps & DEP to Hear Pequannock Residents
At long last, Pequannock residents will have a say in flood mitigation in their region as the Army Corps of Engineers and NJ Department of Environmental Protection will have a joint meeting to discuss yet another study of Passaic River Basin flooding in Pequannock.
The meeting, to be held Wednesday July 11th 2012 at Pequannock Township High School will be a welcome opportunity for citizens who have previously been locked out of the legislative process to provide their input to these 2 groups, even if the meeting's focus is on continued flooding studies.
Pequannock residents will also have an opportunity to sign a petition launched by the Township of Pequannock to request that State Legislators support reservoir management legislation during the current legislative session.
At stake, the possibility of lowering local reservoirs to help mitigate flood damage. Since 2007, Pequannock has suffered severe flooding numerous times, culminating in the disastrous aftermath of Hurricane Irene in September of 2011 which displaced thousands of residents and destroyed nearly a thousand homes.
In 1999, Pequannock also had a notable weather experience: specifically, despite more rain during Hurricane Floyd than Hurricane Irene, Pequannock did not flood in 1999 in large part due to the low level of the reservoirs which had accidentally been reduced by a drought situation. This is the sort of control that supporters of reservoir management legislation hope to exert in the future.
On the other side, reservoir owners are extremely hesitate to lower their reservoir levels out of concern for their pocketbooks, as water is a commodity they sell on a day to day basis.
All residents of Pequannock Township are strongly urged to attend the July 11th meeting at the high school and make their voices heard.
Christopher Lotito is a member of the Pequannock Historic District, Open Space, 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