As of August 26, 2011; 10:00 AM
Hurricane Irene is approaching our area and will continue to be a powerful storm as it moves through the region. Our weather will begin to feel the impact on Saturday as some of the outer rain bands move through. The worst of the storm will begin in the early hours of Sunday and last most of the day. TropicalWeather systems are characterized by Strong Windsand Heavy Rains. All residents should have emergency plans in place at this time and ensure that emergency kits are stocked and ready.
Strong Winds in conjunction with heavy rain and soaked ground can bring down and uproot trees, damage homes and result in power outages. Drivers should use extreme caution when driving in these conditions. Electric charges from downed power lines can travel significant distances on wet surfaces - Never approach a downed power line. Emergency supplies should include enough food, water and medications for 3 to 5 days. Secure items such as garbage cans, patio furniture and lawn decorations or move them indoors.
Heavy rains can cause Stream and Road Flooding. Recent rains and higher than average Reservoir levels put our area at an increased risk of River Flooding. Current rainfall predictions for our area indicate a possibility of 7 to 9 inches of rain. Generally speaking, rainfall totals in excess of 4 inches will cause moderate floodingand affect the Township’s most flood prone areas. Rain in excess of 6 inches will result in major flooding though out the Township. Monitor rain totals and forecasts very closely. All residents living within the flood plain should begin raising items from their first floor to higher areas. A group of volunteers organized through the First Reformed Church will provide assistance to residents who help moving belongings. Residents who require assistance should contact Chad at (973) 617-7967.
Make plans now to assist friends and neighbors who may experience damage to their homes during the storm. Check on elderly and disabled neighbors and provide assistance in preparation. Pequannock Township has endured many natural disasters in recent years and working together we will endure whatever Irene has in store for us. All Township residents should monitor weather forecasts and remain alert to hazardous conditions in your neighborhood.
The next Weather Advisory Statement will be issued at 8:00 PM this evening.
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