As forecasters are calling for the Northeast to be battered by Hurricane Sandy and "Frankenstorm" early next week, River Edge and Oradell DPW crews have already begun moving their equipment north. Both DPW yards are located not far from the Hackensack River and are prone to flooding.
"We are gearing up," Oradell OEM Coordinator Derek Kahill said. "They [DPW] have moved a few non-essential items already, and they are preparing/packing up the garage. The rolling stock will start either Friday or Monday."
"Preparations are on-going including the movement of many of the DPW vehicles up to the Parking Lot on Continental Ave across from Memorial Park," River Edge OEM Coordinator Tom Smith said. " All updates will go out to the residents via NIXLE as the information presents itself."
Both Kahill and Smith urged residents to sign-up to receive NIXLE alerts prior to Hurricane Sandy impacting the area as all communications will be issued through NIXLE. Residents can register online to receive text message and email notifications.
Sandy, which has the potential to turn into a nor'easter has it converges with an early winter storm in the West and a blast of arctic air from the North, would hit the area Sunday and increase through Tuesday.
There is a high chance of rain beginning on Saturday but only measuring less than a quarter of an inch. The heaviest rainfall has been projected to hit the area on Monday and Tuesday but abating by Wednesday.
The Bergen County Office of Emergency Management issued a press release estimating four to nine inches of rain through Wednesday. In addition,there is a full moon on Monday which would rise local tides higher than normal, increasing the chances of river flooding. Winds could be sustained at 70 miles per hour with heavier gusts, according to the National Weather Service.
Any residents hopeing that United Water would lower the Oradell Reservoir in advance of Sandy will be disappointed as the company stated it does not plan to lower its reservoirs, according to a report on northjersey.com.
At this time the Oradell Reservoir is at 63.5 percent or 2.8 billion gallons under capacity. The Hackensack River is currently measured at 1.58 feet, according to the National Weather Service. The flood stage is six feet.
On Friday, New Milford Mayor Ann Subrizi issued a letter to Governor Chris Christie to call on United Water to lower the reservoir in advance of Hurricane Sandy.
"The full capacity of the United Water Oradell Reservoir is 23.16 ft.," Subrizi told New Milford Patch. "It is currently at 18.07 ft."
Prior to the arrival of Hurricane Irene, Christie agreed to order the lowering of the reservoirs to ease flooding, and Subrizi is hoping that he will do it once again.
PSE&G has also begun preparing for Sandy by arranging for contractors to assist their own work force, testing generators and any locations that are in flood prone areas.
To report downed wires or power outages, customers should call PSE&G’s Customer Service line at 1-800-436-PSEG. Customers with a handheld device, or who are at an alternate location with power, can also report power outages and view the status of their outage by logging in to My Account at pseg.com. General outage activity throughout our service territory is available online at pseg.com/outagecenter and updates are posted on pseg.com during severe weather.
In addition, if outages are widespread, the utility will activate its Twitter page to keep the public informed about our restoration progress. Sign up as a follower at twitter.com/psegdelivers to monitor restoration progress.
To prepare for the impending storm, residents are advised:
- Register for NIXLE by clicking here.
- Anyone taking any prescription medication that's running low refill them now
- People with special needs (or caregivers on their behalf) are encouraged to register with Register Ready -- New Jersey's Special Needs Registry for Disasters -- through www.registerready.nj.gov. Alternatively, they can call New Jersey’s toll-free 2-1-1 telephone service. This service will register people, offer free translation, and provide TTY services for the hearing-impaired.
- Stock up on ready-to-eat foods and bottled water.
- Have a contingency plan for your pet should you need to evacuate. Click here for NJOEM's emergency plan for your pet.