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Boonton Reservoir Floodgates to Open for 'Frankenstorm'

Hurricane Sandy threat lowers four Northern New Jersey reservoirs starting Friday night.

Gov. Chris Christie announced Friday evening that he is taking action as Hurricane Sandy—the so-called Frankenstorm—heads toward the East Coast.

Christie said he will have gates lowered at four northern New Jersey reservoirs starting Friday night. The move is being done in an effort to mitigate potential flooding from Hurricane Sandy.

“These actions are necessary due to the potentially unprecedented nature of the storm that is heading our way,” he 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.” 

Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Bob Martin detailed the steps during a teleconference this evening with local officials.

“New Jersey’s reservoirs are designed to provide water, not for flood control,” said Martin. “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.”

The reservoirs being drawn down are the Boonton Reservoir (which serves Parsippany-Troy Hills), the Woodcliffe Lake-Lake Tappan-Oradell Reservoir, the Charlottesburg Reservoir and the Wanaque Reservoir.

During Hurricane Irene, which hit New Jersey in August 2011, floods caused severe flooding throughout Parsippany and, in particular, Lake Hiawatha, where some homeowners remain displaced more than a year later.

Some residents theorized that the flooding damage could have been minimized had flood gates at over-capacity reservoirs been lowered days prior to Irene's appearance. Area government officials maintain that the cause of the flooding was an unprecedented rainfall, and not the reservoir gates.

brian October 27, 2012 at 04:52 PM
thats the jersey city res
Mrs. K October 27, 2012 at 05:01 PM
Brian, the Jersey City Water Works, or the reservoir that supplies the water to Jersey City, is officially know as the Boonton Reservoir due to its location. The reservoir that actually supplies the water to Boonton is in Kinnelon. The water levels are well below flood stage, but they are letting water out anyway.
clyde donovan October 27, 2012 at 05:39 PM
Correct Mrs. K. The reservior in Parsippany that supplies water for Jersey City and a few other communities is one of the four being drained down.
shovelitin October 28, 2012 at 12:07 AM
You applied the pressure? Right. Guess because of you several have been lowered. It would never have been thought of. Appllied? Reccomendations? Can you spell? Think I saw your name on a ballot. Cannot vote for someone who cannot spell.
einaphets October 28, 2012 at 10:59 PM
Lowering the levels will help. Many officials in parsippany and pine brook theorize the gates were opened during Irene which led to flooding in both towns. The flooding came in too quickly to have been rainfall. In pine brook the water came in not from the river side as it normally does, but from the street side.

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