Montclair declared a state of emergency Monday afternoon and opened its emergency operating center as the effects of Hurricane Sandy intensified.
The worsening conditions -- even before Sandy makes landfall in New Jersey -- prompted the township to declare a state of emergency and open the emergency operating center in Fire Department Headquarters on Pine Street.
“We are handling the emergencies as we get them,” said Montclair Police Captain and Deputy Emergency Management Coordinator Kenneth Miscia.
At around 6:30 p.m. on Monday, Miscia said the police and fire departments have primarily been attending to fallen tree limbs and electrical wires in town. However, he added that the day's events are most likely only a prelude to what Hurricane Sandy will eventually bring.
“[The calls] are starting to pick up,” said Miscia. “With the storm not even upon us, we don’t feel we have seen the worst of it.”
The emergency operating center is run by the Office of Emergency Management in town, and is coordinated by Montclair Fire Chief Kevin Allen. The emergency center will centralize command and coordination of the police and fire departments as the township bears the full brunt of Hurricane Sandy.
The emergency center will remain active “for as long as there continues to be a threat to the town and the citizens,” said Miscia
Additional police, fire and emergency services personnel were on duty Monday to handle the storm, said Miscia, as well as added public works staff.
Miscia reminded residents to stay away from any downed wires and assume they are live.
In case of non-emergencies, call the police department at (973) 744-1234, or the fire department at (973) 744-5000. To report an emergency, dial 9-1-1.