Hurricane Sandy, also known as “Frankenstorm” on social media, is expected to hit Verona and Cedar Grove late Monday and into Tuesday. Both towns are busy preparing before hunkering down to await the storm.
Both townships will be using the NIXLE system to provide residents with immediate updates on what is going on in case of an emergency situation.
Verona Prepares for Storm
On Friday, Verona officials met with Jeff Hayes, Verona Director of Emergency Management, to go over their action plan for handling storms.
“Public works are now cleaning catch-basins and getting equipment ready,” said Township Manager Joseph Martin. “We want to make sure leaves are not blocking water flow.”
Township officials will hold additional meetings on Saturday and Sunday as the storm progresses.
“We are good to go,” he said.
The most significant flood area, said Martin, is the area of town is on Bloomfield Ave. where the Peckman River crosses from Verona Park. Verona has fire and ambulance apparatus positioned on both sides of town in case the Peckman overflows, he said.
In case of extreme situations, the Verona Community Center will be able to house residents but it depends on the nature and the extent of the power outtage, he said.
Verona Police Captain Mitchell Stern recommends residents keep fresh batteries and flashlights handy, tie down anything outside that may blow away and keep posted on the Police Department website and NIXLE service.
“I also want to remind people that if they see any kind of utility wire down on the ground, don't make the assumption it's not a power cable,” he said. “If you see a downed wire, call the police department and let the experts come take a look at it.”
Cedar Grove Prepares for Storm
The Cedar Grove Police and Fire Departments, as well as the Cedar Grove Ambulance and Rescue Squad are mobilizing and are prepared for 24-hour staffing, said Cedar Grove Chief of Police Richard Vanderstreet.
“The Rescue Squad is also prepared to open their building as a conference center on a 24-hour basis if it becomes necessary,” said Vanderstreet. “We have been in contact with our DPW (Department of Public Works) who are out clearing leaves from the streets and storm drains.”
Cedar Grove Police are urging residents not to put additional leaves into the streets until after the storm passes.
“You can assist our efforts by watching the storm drains near your homes and clearing any debris that may gather,” said Vanderstreet.
The town is also ready with barricades and tree removal equipment in case of fallen trees, he said. Police have also contacted all five nursing homes in the township to make sure they have enough fuel for their generators.
Cedar Grove Fire Department is on the lookout for high winds, which can lead to tree branches landing on power lines, said Cedar Grove Fire Chief Michael Tower
"The areas of concern are in the center of town by Foodtown and also on Route 23 just south of Ridge Road," said Cedar Grove Fire Chief Michael Tower. "Debris sometimes clog the catch-basins and those areas can get a lot of water runoff."
Follow these tips from the American Red Cross and keep up to the minute with these resources: