A storm is coming and while Hurricane Sandy's potential impact is still unclear, borough officials in Kinnelon, Butler and Bloomingdale are urging residents to stock up on supplies, develop evacuation plans and consider their neighbors.
Bloomingdale officials have already begun preparing for flooding on Main Street.Department of Public Works Supervisor Al Gallagher said Friday that two loads of sand have been delivered to the borough so that Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) volunteers can begin preparing sand bags to attempt to stop some of the potential flooding.
"Our [Office of Emergency Management] and DPW are preparing sand bags to be placed at intersections on Main Street to try and lessen flooding on our side streets," Bloomingdale Mayor Jonathan Dunleavy said Friday. "Sand bags will be available for homeowners and residents if needed."
Main Street has historically flooded during storms that have brought excess rain, with water spilling from the Pequannock River on to the street near the Bloomingdale Self-Serve car wash and flooding into low-elevated neighborhoodsnear Van Dam Avenue and Brandt Lane.
"It comes through the car wash and once it comes through there, it starts coming through the bays and as the water gets deeper, it comes through Main Street," Gallagher said.
Gallagher said little can be done in advance to prevent the flooding, but the department's employees have already been working tirelessly on measures that may help.
"We're trying to clean all the basins off, we're getting our chainsaws ready, the chipper," he said.
The chainsaws and chipper will help DPW workers chop trees that land in roadways, blocking traffic.
Dunleavy said all emergency departments, including police and fire officials, are already prepared for the storm.
"Arrangements have been made to help people evacuate and relocate if necessary," he said.
Anyone who needs help evacuating or getting to a shelter is asked to contact the Blomingdale Police Department. Kinnelon police are also prepared to set up a shelter operation at the Pearl R. Miller School cafeteria.
"Pearl R. Miller has a gas-powered generator," Kinnelon police Lt. John Schwartz said.
Kinnelon typically does not flood, Schwartz said, but last year, after Tropical Storm Irene, two portions of roadways collapsed in the borough. Both Kinnelon Road and Forge Road have since been repaired, but Schwartz said he is not sure what this year's storm could bring.
"We're attempting to expect the unexpected," he said.
With that, Schwartz said police have begun taking precautionary measures.
"We're preparing for trees to block the roadways, tress to take down power lines," he said. "We're preparing our CERT, if need be, to transport people to the shelter, setting up extra phone lines at [police] headquarters."
Butler also only saw limited flooding during last year's storm, but Butler police Capt. Ciro Chimento said the borough is preparing in advance and asking residents to stay calm.
"The severity of the storm remains unclear at this time, thus the Butler police would strongly encourage residents to remain calm and focused," Chimento said. "As more information is received, the Butler police will alert residents of the latest developments."
Dunleavy also asked residents to remain indoors, if possible.
"I would ask that all resident stay indoors during the storm for their own safety and please immediately report any downed wires or trees to our police department," he said.
Officials from all three boroughs advised residents to begin collecting supplies and speaking with family members to devise evacaution plans, if needed. Schwartz said residents should make sure to gather water.
"If you live in an area that traditionally your power is out for a long time, be prepared for that," he said. "Fill your bathtubs with water, make sure you have ice."
Other items to gather in advance, Schwartz said, include batteries and radios. Residents should also make sure their cellular phones are fully charged.
In addition to following storm updates on Tri-Boro Patch and through our Facebook and Twitter pages, below is emergency contact information and resources to follow storm updates in your local community.
KINNELON POLICE DEPARTMENT: 973-838-5400
BUTLER POLICE DEPARTMENT: 973-838-4100
BLOOMINGDALE POLICE DEPARTMENT: 973-838-0158
You can also:
- Receive Nixle alerts from the Kinnelon Police Department or Butler Police Department by signing up at Nixle.com
- Receive SWIFT Reach 9-1-1 alerts from the Bloomingdale Police Department by signing up here
- Follow the Borough of Kinnelon on Twitter at KinnelonBoro here
- Read updated alerts from the Kinnelon Volunteer Fire Company (Kinnelon Volunteer Fire Co.) or Kinnelon Office of Emergency Management (Kinnelon OEM) on Facebook here
- Read updated alerts from the Butler Police Department (Butler Police Department) on Facebook here
- Read updated alerts from the Borough of Bloomingdale (Borough of Bloomingdale) on Facebook here