Irene, A Year Ago Today: FCAC Announcement: 11pm Update

English: Radar image of Hurricane Irene shortl...
English: Radar image of Hurricane Irene shortly after making landfall on the Outer Banks of North Carolina. Image was taken on 2011-08-27 at 14:05 UTC (10:05 local time) from the National Weather Service radar station at Newport/Morehead, North Carolina. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
By Christopher Lotito

As of August 27, 2011; 11:00 PM

Tropical Storm Warning remains in effect and a Tornado Watch has been added for our area.  Tropical Storm conditions are expected overnight and into early Sunday.  Irene remains a large and powerful storm.  Heavy rain will continue through the night and into tomorrow.  The worst of the storm, including high winds and torrential rain, will occur during the early morning hours of Sunday - likely between 2:00 AM and 8:00 AM.  Emergency Plans should include where you will go if you are told to evacuate or if your home becomes damaged.

Power outages should be expected as a result of strong winds.  In the event that sustained winds reach 50MPH, local emergency services will cease response operations for the safety of our first responders.  Regular communication networks may become unreliable as a result of power outages, downed lines and heavy call volume.  Do not drive through flooded roadways - Don't Drown - Turn Around!  As a result of the added hazard of electric lines that me be in contact with flood waters, it is extremely important that residents evacuate when told to do so.

Total rainfall predictions for our area remain uncertain, however 6 to 10 inches are possible.  Over an inch of rain has already fallen.  Generally speaking, rainfall totals in excess of 6 inches will result in major floodingthough out the Township.  Ten inches of rain would produce record flooding.  The National Weather Servicehas issued a projection for the Pompton River at Jackson Avenue that indicates the river will begin to rise late tonight and reach action stage (13.0') around Noon on Sunday.  Our experience has been that their predictions are low in the early stages of a storm.

We expect the river to begin rising tonight and reach action stage in the early hours of Sunday morning.  Although significant flooding isn't expected until tomorrow, residents of the most flood prone areas should strongly consider leaving tonight.  Evacuations have been ordered for Harrison Road and low lying residences along Route 23.  No additional evacuations will be considered until Sunday morning.  Make plans now to assist friends and neighbors who may experience damage to their homes during the storm.  All Township residents should continue to monitor weather forecasts and remain alert to rapidly changing conditions in your area.

The next Weather Advisory Statement will be issued at 6:00 AM tomorrow morning.

  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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