Hillsborough Emergency Shelter Open
Officials montoring water levels, power outages. Reports say flooding may not be as bad as Irene.
The township is monitoring the progress of Hurricane Sandy as it prepares to smash into New Jersey later Monday, said Mayor Carl Suraci.
The storm is forecast to deliver winds ranging between 40 to 60 mph with some areas facing hurricane-force winds of more than 75 mph over a span of nearly 800 miles with New Jersey near its center.
The storm could produce rain falls ranging from 4 to 6 inches to more than a foot.
Hillsborough's emergency radio station 1610 AM was experiencing technical difficulties late Monday morning, according to an alert by the Hillsborough Police Department. The department issued the alert at 11:25 a.m. through Nixle.
The alert said information on road closures will come through Nixle.
Hillsborough opened its emergency shelter at the municipal complex at 1 p.m. on Monday. Municipal offices were close for regular business and the Hillsborough School District has suspended classes Monday and Tuesday.
The Hillsborough/Montgomery Municipal Court sessions scheduled for Monday and Tuesday are cancelled.
Somerset County has closed its seven senior centers for Monday and Tuesday, and Meals on Wheels will not be delivered Monday or Tuesday. Recycling pickups in Hillsborough and Millstone are cancelled for Tuesday.
“Nothing has happened yet,” Suraci said, “but we are monitoring water levels and have barriers in place” on roads known for flooding.
He said he will participate in a conference call with Gov. Chris Christie, and has a conference call with officials from Jersey Central Power & Light at 4 p.m. on Monday.
After the 2001 storms–Hurricane Irene and the Halloween snow storm that generates widespread flooding and power outages–Suraci said the township officials reviewed their plans and actions and assessed needs.
He said in response, and working with the power companies, they identified areas where additional work such was tree trimming was required. Suraci said last week a township crew removed a tree that had been identified as a problem.
For this storm, he said, the township has contracted with a company that specializes in removing fallen power lines. That was a major concern last year, he said. The inability to identify power lines as opposed to cable or telecommunications lines caused delays in the removal of fallen trees and created a safety issue about live wires on the ground.
Suraci will hold a press conference call at 5 p.m. Monday.
River gages monitored by the U.S. Geological Service so far show little impact of Sandy’s early rains. Further, the service projected Monday that contrary to Irene, there is the possibility that Sandy might not produce the damaging floods that storm created.
At 11:15 a.m. Monday the Millstone River at Blackwell Mills was flowing at 1.78 feet. Flood stage there is 9 feet. The USGS projects the Millstone at this point would reach 10 feet early Tuesday and fall back below flood stage early Wednesday.
During Irene the lower Millstone reached 21 feet.
The Raritan River at Manville was flowing at 4.2 feet at 11:15 a.m.
Monday. Flood stage is 14 feet, but the river projects only to reach 11.9 feet about noon Tuesday, the USGS monitoring charts suggest.
During Irene, the Raritan at this measuring point reached 41 feet. The South Branch of the Raritan at Stanton measured 2.53 feet at 11:15 a.m. Monday.
Flood stage is 8 feet, but the USGA projects the river will peak at 6 feet early Tuesday afternoon.
The South Branch of the Raritan merges with the Neshanic River and other smaller brooks in the southwest corner of Hillsborough, where they produced localized flooding last year.