One Year On, Pequannock Volunteers Hit the Street for Flood Control

By Christopher Lotito

This August, volunteers from Pequannock, lead by Mayor Rich Phelan, will continue to take to the streets of the township, asking all New Jersey residents to sign a petition to lower the level of reservoirs in advance of future floods.

Wanaque Reservoir
Wanaque Reservoir (Photo credit: Kilgub)
In the last 2 weeks of July the group, including Flood Committee Secretary Christopher Lotito, Glens Board Member Janet Chavez, Councilman Ed Engelbart, Steve Kellenbach, Pam Pena, and sundry others, has canvased:

  • The Village
  • Riverside Dr.
  • Roland Rd.
  • Laurel Ave.
  • Brian Ct.
  • Beech St.
  • Maple Ave.
  • Willow Ave.
  • Elmwood Ave.
  • Pequannock Ave.
  • Madison St.
  • Roosevelt St.
  • Oakwood St.
  • Cedar Rd.
  • Elm Rd.
  • Kenmore Rd.
  • 4th St.
  • Kamm St.
  • ...and others.

Over the next several weeks, residents who have not signed the petition yet can expect a visit from one or more volunteers providing information about the issues and a chance to participate.

As of 7/26/12, over 1,000 residents from Pequannock alone had signed the petition, with another 9,000+ expected from Pequannock, Wayne, Lincoln Park, and the surrounding areas.

In September, Mayor Phelan will testify before the New Jersey State Legislature, presenting these same signatures, in request of a reservoir control / flood mitigation bill.

Such bills, to lower the level of the reservoirs in advance of heavy storms, have been entered into the legislature on a yearly basis since at least 1996, but have failed to leave committee each and every time.  In particular, the Environmental and Solid Waste Committee as well as the Homeland Security Committee have reviewed these bills a number of times over the past 2 decades.

Some have raised concerns that lowering the reservoirs could exacerbate drought situations, yet this concern is unfounded as the reservoirs are now able to be pumped up via an 8 foot pipe as part of the Wanaque South Project.

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

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