Verona's Office of Emergency Management held a special meeting Monday night to discuss the progression of Hurricane Sandy and its affect on the township.
The meeting was attended by members of the police and fire departments, rescue squad, township council, board of education and department of public works as well as officials from the health, community services and sewer departments and representatives of Essex County.
OEM Director Jeff Hayes provided a weather update saying to expect from one to two inches of rain on Monday and about three inches of rain on Tuesday. As of 4 p.m. Monday, the rain had slowed but the winds have increased, he said.
Winds are expected to be around 65 to 75 miles per hour.
“The call volume at the police department dispatch desk is increasing from minute to minute,” said Hayes.
Verona police have eight officers on the road and are prepared to handle the increase in calls, said Police Chief Douglas Huber during the meeting.
The fire department is moving guys into the station and are “ready for the long haul,” said Verona Fire Chief Pat McEvoy.
Verona Superintendent of Schools Steven Forte announced district schools will be closed on Tuesday Oct. 30 and the scheduled board of education meeting will be canceled.
“If schools are open on Wednesday, students will have a half (teacher development) day, as scheduled,” he said.
According to Hayes there have been widespread outages throughout the state. PSE&G released information saying as of 8 a.m. Monday there were 829 power outages. By 4 p.m. that number jumped to 36,000 homes without power.
In case of power outages the township is ready to open the Verona Community Center for residents as a reprieve from the storm. As of yet the center has not been needed but the township has it prepared for emergency situations.
High winds have already started affecting the township. Football field goal posts at South End school have began to tilt in the wind and portable bathrooms have also blown over.
The football field is locked and the township will need to tighten the goal posts and secure them, Verona officials said.
Verona has already seen some downed trees on Linden and Mount Prospect avenues as well as Stocker Road.
Municipal offices will be open on Tuesday and Verona police are offering rides to township employees.
“We are worrying more about safety rather than attendance,” said Township Manager Joseph Martin.