As forecasts predict Tropical Storm Sandy will hit Montclair early next week, local officials said they were monitoring the storm closely and making preparations Friday.
Montclair’s Business Manager Marc Dashield said the township will not be caught off guard if Sandy makes it way to New Jersey.
“We will be at a heightened sense of readiness,” said Dashield. “... Just like everyone else, we are watching the forecasts and preparing to make sure we have the necessary equipment.”
Dashield said township officials are currently meeting to coordinate efforts to deal with any potential flooding, felled trees and other adverse effects of the storm.
Hurricane Sandy is currently over the Bahamas, and the most recent National Hurricane Center computer model predicts Sandy will barrel into New Jersey between Monday and Tuesday.
Chief of the Montclair Fire Department Kevin Allen said Friday morning that the department will be prepared no matter what Sandy brings.
“We are getting everything ready here and making sure we have plenty of supplies, ... [and] everything is getting gassed up in case it gets here,” said.
Allen, who is also the coordinator for the Office of Emergency Management, asked residents to clear storm drains of leaves and debris.
Similar to Hurricane Irene last year, Allen said the biggest concerns will be handling potential power-outages, flooding and felled trees.
Allen urged residents to be prepared if Sandy does make landfall. He suggested that residents make sure they have food-stuffs, water and batteries for flashlights in case power is lost.
Dashield said the township will provide shelters for residents who lose power on an as-needed basis. Shelters are typically set up in the American Red Cross, at 13 Trinity Place, or in the public schools.
“Those kind of things really depend on the situation as we see how it unfolds,” said Dashield.
More information will be released today for residents. Stay tuned to the Patch for these updates and more.
[Update: 1:10 p.m. Friday] The township issued the following press release on its website.
The Montclair Office of Emergency Management is fully prepared to respond to any emergency that may arise from storm conditions. The Emergency Operating Center will open if necessary to receive emergency calls (9-1-1). We will be working in concert with Community Services, the Police Department and PSE&G in the event of downed wires and loss of power.
IMPORTANT PHONE NUMBERS:
Call 9-1-1- for emergency situations.
For non-emergency situations (e.g. basement flooding) call 973-744-1234. Pumping water out of basements: PLEASE NOTE that the Montclair Fire Department will respond to calls requesting basements to be pumped if basement flood water level is 6 inches or greater and the water is sewage-free.
For power outages call PSE&G at 1-800-436-7734.
For hurricane preparedness and safety information, please visit the following websites:
American Red Cross:
New Jersey Department of Health:
NJ Department of Health – what to do in the aftermath of a storm:
Additional safety information concerning fire, chemical, electrical, generator and heating safety before and after a flood may be found on the FEMA/US Fire Administration website:
[Update: 1:30 p.m. Friday] Due to Hurricane Sandy, the township has canceled garbage, recycling and leaf-bag collection starting Tuesday.