Irene: One Year Later
How did the 2011 storm impact you? Share your photos and your feedback.
This week marks the first anniversary of the storm that rocked River Dell and all of Northern New Jersey to its bones. It pulled trees from their roots, flooded streets and cars, caused people to be evacuated from their homes by emergency services, and left so many without power.
After Irene blew through New Jersey in August 2011, Patch was there to cover the hurricane that had been downgraded to a tropical storm.
For those at the Steuben Arms apartments near the Hackensack River, many residents were evacuated prior to Irene hitting as a precaution and being placed at Bergen Community College. Throughout the storm, as residents across each town lost power, Oradellians were continually notified of updates via NIXLE while those in River Edge were left in the dark as the police department's emergency generator failed.
In advance of the storm, United Water began lowering the level of the Oradell Reservoir in an attempt to minimize flooding in the New Milford and River Dell areas, but it did little to alleviate the high water levels on the far side of Oradell Avenue heading toward St. Joseph School where the neighborhood was cut off from the rest of the borough with the Oradell Avenue Bridge closed due to flooding.
In River Edge, the southern end of town was evacuated prior to Hurricane Irene, with Kinderkamack Road from Wayne Avenue to the Hackensack border had been blocked off, but the Rt. 4 entrance to Main Street was open.
The Hackensack River in New Milford, which reached a staggering height of 11.84 feet, caused substations in New Milford and near New Bridge Landing to be submerged and subsequently knocked out power until Sept. 4.
But good things came out of bad situation.
Following Irene, Bergen County Executive Kathleen Donovan, emergency management head Dwane Razzetti and county freeholders toured hard-hit areas in Lyndurst, Rutherford, Fair Lawn, Lodi and Hillsdale.
Eventually a Bergen County Flood Advisory Committee was established by Freeholder John Driscoll to look at flooding on a County-wide scale and establish a unified voice in fighting for State and Federal aid. The committee is comprised of mayors and officials from flood affected towns throughout Bergen County. The mission of the committee is to develop both short and long-term solutions to repetitive flooding that has plagued many municipalities since Hurricane Floyd and try to get the DEP to help tackle the issue of flood control from a regional standpoint.
One year later, we want to know: Does the storm continue to impact you? What changes did you make in and around your home? Did your business, or neighboring businesses survive the wind and flood damage? Did it cause you to become more involved in local government?
Add photos of your neighborhood from the storm, and photos today so we can see how far River Dell has come since the worst storm since Floyd hit.
Leave your comment below, and share your stories and photos about how Irene impacted you and your family.