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Christie Orders Reservoirs Lowered

In advance of Sandy, Governor orders reservoirs lowered and flood gates opened.

Hearing the pleas of local officials and their constituents devastated by the flooding that followed Hurricane Irene, Governor Chris Christie has announced that he has ordered the reservoirs to be lowered in advance of Hurricane Sandy to mitigate any potential flooding.

Hurricane Sandy, christened 'Frankenstorm' because of its unique characteristics, has been described by weather services as a cross between a hurricane and a winter storm, packing the potential to deliver a minimum of 4-5 inches of rain with 30-40 mile per hour winds.

The reservoirs that will be lowered are the Woodcliffe Lake-Lake Tappan-Oradell Reservoir system operated by United Water in Bergen County; the Charlottesburg Reservoir, operated by the City of Newark; the Wanaque Reservoir operated by the North Jersey Water Supply District; and the Boonton Reservoir operated by Jersey City.

“These actions are necessary due to the potentially unprecedented nature of the storm that is heading our way,” Governor Christie said. “A great deal of rainfall is expected which could cause major flooding, so we are taking every step we can to try to mitigate the potential flooding that could occur.”

“New Jersey’s reservoirs are designed to provide water, not for flood control,” DEP Commissioner Bob Martin said. “But given the situation, we decided we needed to get as much water out of the reservoir systems as possible, creating void space for runoff from the storm.”

According to Martin, the reservoirs will be drawn down over a period of about 20 to 30 hours. Releases will be stopped well in advance of heavy rains, which will give the released water ample time to pass through the downstream river systems.

New Milford Mayor Ann Subrizi, District 38 legislators Senator Robert Gordon, Assemblywoman Connie Wagner and Assemblyman Timothy Eustace sent letters to Christie Friday urging him to lower the reservoirs in advance of the storm.

The New Jersey Office of Emergency Management (OEM) is coordinating with local Offices of Emergency Management to prepare for any evacuations that may become necessary.      


Stay tuned into Patch for updates on the storm.

Celeste Scavetta October 27, 2012 at 12:49 AM
Thank you Governor. And thank you Mayor Ann Subrizi!!!!
Sam B. October 27, 2012 at 12:59 AM
Great job Mayor Subrizi. Let's hope everyone gets through this OK
mellie October 27, 2012 at 01:04 AM
Finally - Christie does something I agree with.
Debbie Putrino October 27, 2012 at 02:48 AM
Thank you Tim Eustace and Connie Wagner you are the best!
Ulises October 27, 2012 at 04:59 AM
Thank you Governor for this order. Many thanks to our local/state officians and all the regular folks in New Milford that reached out to the Governor's Office.
Jose A. Camacho, Esq. October 27, 2012 at 08:34 AM
Jose A. Camacho, Esq. October 27, 2012 at 08:35 AM
I almost couldnt believe it myself!
miriam pickett October 27, 2012 at 01:42 PM
Good luck to all. Stay dry!
AML October 27, 2012 at 04:13 PM
A great big THANK YOU is in order to all of the local & state officials who contacted the Governor's office, as well as to all of the residents of NJ who reached out to the Governor's office and staff. It was a cooperative effort and our voices were heard! Thanks Governor Christie for listening to us and for overriding the objection of United Water, as well as the DEP who both believe that the reservoirs are soley for the purpose of providing water, and not flood control. Ever so grateful for your final decision. Stay safe all!
Rick October 27, 2012 at 08:25 PM
United Water has yet to comply with the Governor's mandate to release water from the Oradell Reservoir. From my view, the Hackensack River is at peak low tide and there is no indication that they are going to do anything, at this time. I will be videotaping the river as soon as the tide shifts in order to prove that they are violating a direct order from the Governor.
Lori Barton October 27, 2012 at 10:48 PM
Lake DeForest was at 99% capacity before releasing any water. Water released from there ends up in Lake Tappan. Water released from Lake Tappan ends up in the Oradell Reservoir. So even if they start releasing water, the water flowing in from the north will take its place. The northern communities might be spared but New Milford will take the brunt AGAIN. And United Water just doesn't care. They will blame our flooding on the storm not on the fact that the arrangement of their reservoirs leaves us vulnerable time and time again. There needs to be a way to divert water from the other reservoirs to someplace other than the Oradell Reservoir. All of the runoff ends up in the Oradell Reservoir until it overflows and ends up in New Milford's homes, schools, and businesses. There has to be a better way.
miriam pickett October 27, 2012 at 11:18 PM
I also questioned whether any water was being released. I took at the look at the Oradell reservoir and nothing was happening there. As Lori says, it's a domino effect. One after the other after the other and we are low man.
Rick October 28, 2012 at 12:17 PM
But it is not happening. Please watch this video which shows that United Water did not comply with Governor Christie's mandate to release the Oradel reservoir. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Epwz3iwtV-Q&feature=youtu.be
Rick October 28, 2012 at 12:18 PM
Please watch this video which shows that United Water did not comply with Governor Christie's mandate to release the Oradel reservoir. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Epwz3iwtV-Q&feature=youtu.be
Ulises October 28, 2012 at 01:09 PM
United Water is not releasing any water from their Oradell reservoir. They're at the same levels they were on Friday.
Rick October 28, 2012 at 01:29 PM
Watch and see for yourself: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Epwz3iwtV-Q&feature=plcp
Pat October 28, 2012 at 02:08 PM
Friday Night Oradell was 17.95 ft. this morning 17.81 Friday night Woodcliff lake 91.19 ft this morning 90.92 Friday Night Lake Tappan 50.12 ft this morning 50.14
Donna Colucci October 28, 2012 at 04:02 PM
The max for oradell is 23.? so it looks like they lowered 6 or so inches.
Pat October 28, 2012 at 05:29 PM
Yes Donna, 23.16 is full to the top. Has not been there since June.
tony g2010 October 28, 2012 at 06:51 PM
Looks like united water is going to let new Milford have it for trying to interfere with their property transaction.
River watcher October 28, 2012 at 07:02 PM
They did not lower any water this is daily usage
River watcher October 28, 2012 at 07:05 PM
If you want to monitor the river http://waterdata.usgs.gov/nj/nwis/rt Don't believe the lies
River watcher October 28, 2012 at 07:13 PM
Thank you SOD members for helping the people of new milford get the real information we need to protect our properties and families we cannot rely on our politicians or the media either the are being told lies or apart of the lies. Help yourself nobody's comming to help but us ,thanks again N.M. And U.W
Jose A. Camacho, Esq. October 28, 2012 at 09:11 PM
If we flood it will be horrible for low lying Newi Milford Residents, but you would think it would also proove all the points SOD has been making and ruin any chance the United Water application has in passing.
newmilford1967 October 28, 2012 at 10:41 PM
There is a special meeting of the zoning board tommorrow if we have power? Drag Delvecchio to the river and make him watch and see the waters rise.
TommyIce October 29, 2012 at 12:15 AM
And they (UW) will use that as their basis for appeal. That our Zoning Board, if they deny the application, is taking revenge, on behalf of the taxpayers of NM, for the flooding that they will intentionally cause.


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