TRENTON – The preparations for Hurricane Irene continue.
The governor this afternoon announced the floodgates on the Ramapo River will be opened in order to mitigate the potential for flooding from the hurricane that will hit the state this weekend.
“Opening the Pompton floodgates will provide only very limited benefit in terms of flood mitigation, but we’re trying something new because we have to do everything we can,” Gov. Chris Christie said in a release.
“Everyone needs to understand that when we have a rain event of the magnitude we expect this weekend, the Passaic River Basin is going to flood – above and below the floodgates.”
The floodgates will be open approximately 1.5 feet to draw down Pompton Lake by three feet below the spillway crest by this evening, according to the governor’s office. This will achieve a peak water discharge of 2,500 cubic feet per second, keeping the river within its banks downstream before any rain comes. A higher rate of discharge would cause the river to overflow its banks even before any rain falls, the state reported.
Christie’s office said he informed local mayors today about the decision, and said that engineers from the Department of Environmental Protection will be on site.