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Pascack Valley Daily Voice serves Emerson, Hillsdale, Montvale, Park Ridge, River Vale, Washington Township, Westwood & Woodcliff Lake

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Civic group member wants pressure on United Water to release reservoir water before Hurricane Irene

Photo Credit: Cliffview Pilot
Photo Credit: Cliffview Pilot

CLIFFVIEW PILOT HAS IT FIRST: A member of a citizens action group battling United Water over flooding in Westwood and Hillsdale is urging her neighbors to seek an emergency declaration that reservoirs be partially emptied before Hurricane Irene begins tacking north.

Pamela Henkel Rivers of Westwood took this shot of her street in April

“If the projected path forecasts a rainfall here over 3 inches, it will be in a short period of time,” said Karolina Marin of Westwood, a member of the group Flood NO More. “Then at least, WE MUST be ready.”

The immediate measures Marin proposes include filing for an emergency state declaration that water be released from all area reservoirs (DeForrest, Lake Tappan, Woodcliff lake and Oradell) as early as Friday, and asking the state DEP to go to court to require owners to empty the reservoirs “to their lowest capacity.”

“If we need to get a couple of buses and go to request to [be] heard by the governor, we should… and file a formal request,” Marin told the group.

Irene changed track Tuesday and predictions are that it hit the Northeast by Sunday. Although it’s a Category 4 hurricane, it could accelerate into a Category 1 very quickly, said Flood NO More’s Jim Moldow.

In recent weeks, Flood NO More has demanded that United Water take measures to mitigate flooding in the area, including releasing water in advance of heavy rainstorms.

CLIFFVIEW PILOT photo

ALSO SEE:
A quartet of floods over a little more than three months this ye ar de s tr oyed hot water heaters, furnaces, and personal property, members of the F lood No More group sai d during a protest outside United Water’s Old Hook Road headquarters in Harrington Pa rk. READ MORE….



At the same time, Marin cautioned that “trajectory projections can and are usually off by more than 200 miles, specially over a [3-day] forecast.” ( ALSO SEE: Storm zigs instead of zags, Valley spared )

“I really hope it will be nothing more than scattered showers in the area,” Marin said. “We all do.”

The catch, she said, is that the hurricane, if it comes, would hit at a time when operations at the reservoirs tend to be “not as efficient” as they can during the week.




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