Is there a State of Emergency for New Jersey


is there a State of Emergency for New Jersey

PATERSON, N.J. -- In anticipation of an impending storm that promises heavy rain and heightened flood risks, a state of emergency will be in effect from 5 p.m. Tuesday, impacting New Jersey significantly, especially along the Passaic River. The region is grappling with the aftermath of last month's flooding, amplifying concerns for residents.

Governor Phil Murphy has proactively declared a state of emergency covering all 21 counties in the Garden State.

In response to the imminent threat, mayors from Wayne, Pompton Lakes, and Lincoln Park have sought the opening of floodgates on Pompton Lakes Dam ahead of the storm. The aim was to mitigate potential flooding downstream. However, the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection rejected the request, asserting that, in this particular scenario, opening the dam would not effectively prevent flooding.

Governor Murphy addressed the decision on Tuesday morning, stating, "Based on the science associated with how these storms play and how the dams then behave, they feel the science is on the side of not doing that." Despite the challenging road expected tonight and tomorrow morning, the Environmental Protection team holds a strong belief in the chosen course of action.

Preparing in Paterson

Families in the area remain fatigued from a storm just three weeks ago, which resulted in widespread flooding of homes, cars, and businesses, causing school closures. Now, there's a prevailing fear among residents that history might repeat itself.

The aftermath of the previous storm included the destruction of the majority of inventory at an auto repair shop. Workers at the shop are now grappling with the possibility that the upcoming storm system could further sweep away what little they have managed to salvage.

Expressing the challenges faced, one worker shared, "That one, I was ready to send it to Miami. I lost everything. FEMA, nobody, give you nothing, nothing, nothing. Right now, I've got my two hands and that's it. It's crazy." The sentiments underscore the ongoing struggles of those affected and the concerns over potential losses in the face of the impending weather conditions.

As a precautionary measure, the mayor has declared a citywide emergency, effective from 5 p.m. Tuesday, in anticipation of the approaching storm.

Coordinating efforts with the fire and police departments, the city is taking proactive steps to address potential challenges. Paterson Office of Emergency Management Coordinator, Troy Ayers, explained, "We are working with the fire department and police department to split their divisions to each side of the river, just in case it does flood that high. Right now, we are looking at the crest of 9.3. The previous storm, it was 8.4. So we are preparing for the worst."

Ayers further disclosed that a flash flood warning is scheduled to be issued at 2 p.m., leading to the closure of certain streets. In addition, a Red Cross-managed shelter will be operational 24 hours a day for the next five days at 60 Temple Street.

The mayor emphasized ongoing communication with the school superintendent to assess potential impacts on schools in the coming days, highlighting the collaborative efforts to ensure the safety and well-being of the community.

All too familiar in Little Falls

Authorities are expressing concerns that the upcoming weather system may worsen already challenging conditions, not only in Paterson but also in Little Falls. Residents in Little Falls faced a challenging situation back in December when rising rainfall led to the Passaic River overflowing its banks, requiring some to use boats to reach their homes.

A resident from Little Falls shared the routine of monitoring river gauges online, emphasizing the acceptance of nature's unpredictability and the need to hope for the best. Despite their vigilance, the mayor of Little Falls reported that the cleanup from last month's flood had just been completed, and now preparations are underway once again.

Mayor James Damiano highlighted the efforts of the Department of Public Works (DPW) in clearing catch basins to prevent blockages. However, he expressed the hope that the forecast might be slightly off.

Meteorologists, unfortunately, indicate a high level of confidence in the forecast, attributing it to existing conditions such as swollen rivers and the expected melting of snowpack in northern New Jersey, contributing to the anticipated challenges.

Long Island facing coastal flood concerns

On Long Island, residents are gearing up for the impending rain and the potential for coastal flooding. Suffolk County Executive Ed Romaine has taken proactive measures by declaring a state of emergency on Tuesday and emphasizing the importance of caution among residents.

Romaine stated, "I am issuing a State of Emergency for Suffolk County to ensure our residents are best prepared for the incoming severe weather." He strongly advised residents to refrain from unnecessary travel due to the anticipated heavy rainfall, strong wind gusts, and potential flooding, particularly during the evening and overnight hours.

In Nassau County, officials are mobilizing resources to address the challenges posed by the storm. Crews will be actively clearing drains, and heavy-duty pumps are on standby, ready to be deployed if necessary.

The utilities sector is also gearing up for the potential impact of dangerous wind gusts that could lead to tree damage and power outages. The coordinated efforts across counties and sectors reflect a commitment to ensuring the safety and preparedness of the community in the face of the incoming severe weather.

NYC issues travel advisory

The New York City Department of Emergency Management is cautioning residents about the impending severe weather, which includes an expected 2 to 3 inches of heavy rain, wind gusts reaching up to 60 miles per hour, and the possibility of moderate coastal flooding.

Taking proactive measures, Mayor Eric Adams has activated the city's flash flood emergency plan, and a travel advisory is in effect from Tuesday into Wednesday. To mitigate potential risks, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) has announced a ban on empty tractor-trailers and tandem trucks at its bridges and tunnels starting at 6 p.m. Tuesday.

In response to the forecasted conditions, the Statue of Liberty will close early at 4 p.m. on Tuesday, and a delayed opening is planned, with the first visitor ferry scheduled for 10:10 a.m. on Wednesday.

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