Although Irene is still days away, Governor Christie has declared a State of Emergency as a precaution so that preparations are made to brace for the storm.
From Trenton to Little Falls, government officials and emergency management workers are putting out alerts and getting equipment in place for potential flooding from the latest rain storm that is converging on the Garden State. Among the actions:
• Gov. Chris Christie declared a state of emergency today and called on the National Guard to help out in areas at risk of flooding.
• In Little Falls, the Office of Emergency Management distributed sandbags and evacuation information to residents living near the Passaic River.
• In Woodbridge, the mayor’s office sent out alerts asking homeowners and business owners on flood-prone streets to move their cars to higher ground.
Rain-soaked towns are expected to get another two to three inches Thursday and Friday, and the Passaic River could rise to record levels, according to meteorologist Greg Heavener of the National Weather Service.
In Pine Brook, the Passaic River is expected to rise to 23 feet by Saturday, Heavener said. The Passaic River last reached that level on Oct. 10, 1903, when it hit a record 23.2 feet, Heavener said.
“If we hit that mark, we’ll have a historic flood,” he said. “This could be a one in a 100 year storm.”
In Little Falls, where sandbags were distributed today, officials were preparing for the worst.
“We may have to ask people to evacuate. We may have to open up shelters,” said detective Alfred Batelli, coordinator of the town’s Office of Emergency Management
Some rules to go by:
– Top off gas tanks. If power is knocked out, gas pumps and ATMs won’t work.
– Have a working flashlight and batteries handy.
– Have a battery-operated radio (to be able to listen to news reports about the storm).
– Fill drug prescriptions.
– Have a first-aid kit at home.
– Stock supplies of water and nonperishable food for 5 days. An adequate water supply is 1 gallon of water per person per day.
– Stock baby formula and diapers, if there are babies at home.
– Heed evacuation orders from the Office of Emergency Management.
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