High Winds More of a Concern Than Flooding, Residents Say
Winds causing trees and telephone poles to fall throughout the township. Some roads are closed.
Police are reporting that trees, telephone poles, and live electrical wires are down throughout the township.
Totowa Road and Rivewview Drive are closed due to downed wires and a telephone pole, Police Chief John Reardon said in a statement released this afternoon.
More roadways continue to close “by the minute,” Reardon said.
There is a pole down on Beechwood Drive that caused a gas line rupture, Reardon said. Several houses are being evacuated as a precaution.
Reardon did not say where the residents are being evacuated to.
Officials are urging residents to stay off roadways.
Wayne residents seem to be optimistic that Hurricane Sandy won’t be as bad as Tropical Storm Irene was last year.
“I’m a little nervous but we’re more prepared that we were last year,” said Bill Shepherd, a South Road resident.
Shepherd and his wife Ashley live in the Rivewview section of town, historically one of the worst flooded areas in Wayne. “I think the town has handled it better this year than last year.”
Shepherd said he is more concerned about strong winds causing problems and power outages than he is about flooding.
The Pompton River in Pompton Plains is currently at 8.6 feet; it crested at nearly 11.6 feet Monday at 5 p.m.. Flood stage for the river is 16 feet. It is expected to crest Wednesday at 13 feet.
The Passaic River is well below flood stage at only 1.6 feet high. It crested at 3.1 feet earlier today. It is forecast to crest tomorrow at 4.9 feet. Flood stage is 7 feet.
The floodgates on the Pompton Lake dam were raised Saturday to drain five feet of water from behind the dam. A spillway on the dam was kept open to allow additional water to drain out and downstream.
“Of course we’re worried about flooding but they opened the gates early and kept them open so it’s not going to be as bad not because of the weather but because of what they did,” said Tyler Froatz, a Shore Road resident. “Hopefully, they learned from their mistakes they made last year.”