With temperatures topping 100 degrees for days on end this summer and unpredictable storms in recent history, it is very important to take precautions and have a plan for extreme weather situations.
Staying hydrated and avoiding exposure in temperatures above 90 degrees Fahrenheit is vital to staying healthy. Weather patterns have been fluctuating the last several years, bringing severe storm tidal surges and droughts from near record breaking heat.
A rogue winter storm hit our region last October, destroying over 400 trees and knocking out power lines all over town.
Although not an island in the tropics, Secaucus is surrounded by water and is subject to flooding from heavy rainfall. You may immediately think of more southern states such as Florida when you think of hurricanes; however, the entire Eastern Seaboard is within the Atlantic Hurricane zone. New Jersey and Secaucus are no exception. As you may recall, Hurricane Irene caused severe destruction last fall with heavy rainfall and strong winds. Many neighborhoods were without power for hours causing sump pumps to shut down which ultimately led to severe water damage. Several homes were declared condemned, leaving residents displaced.
We don’t want this to happen to any of our residents, but Mother Nature can be very unpredictable.
Hurricane season starts in May and continues through November. Knowing what to do in a severe storm can make the difference in your safety and that of others.
Keep emergency supplies including non-perishable foods, water, and fresh batteries in a radio. Listen to emergency broadcasts on the radio as well as the townwide alert system the county installed several years ago, which are located in the plaza, Koelle Boulevard, Laurel Hill and Secaucus Road. This information is provided not to frighten you but to keep you aware and prepared in the event our region becomes a target of severe weather.
Rest assured Secaucus has an emergency preparedness plan in place for these types of catastrophic weather conditions. With the cooperation of Meadowlands Hospital and the coordination of the local, County and State Office of Emergency Management, we have a mobile medical triage unit ready to set-up at any given moment. Huber Street School was selected to house cots, generators, and other medical equipment due to its central location in town and its altitude above sea level.
Emergency information would be broadcast on Channel 36 as well as the town website www.Secaucusnj.org. Reverse 911 is a phone service normally used to transmit non-emergency information to residents. However it is a valuable tool to alert the public of an emergency situation.
We all know Secaucus has a history of tidal flooding during storms. This year the budget has over $500,000 earmarked for flood control projects. A new larger storm water line is being designed and will be constructed shortly on Golden Avenue. A new storm drainage line has already been installed behind the homes on Humboldt Street and Golden Avenue.
Two projects are also underway in the 2nd ward. The earthen berm on Mill Ridge Road has been totally reconstructed, and a large diameter storm line and pump station is being constructed to alleviate flooding on Farm, Oak and Acorn Roads. Our town engineers are also in the process of investigating and designing a new storm water system that would service the west side of Paterson Plank Road.
The county has agreed and already started rebuilding the St Paul Avenue Pump Station, which has been antiquated for many years. The $450,000 project would alleviate flooding on Secaucus Road and areas of the South End. We are also working closely with our state legislators to find and acquire funding to help alleviate flooding in the center of town, which is subject to severe tidal floods.
As you can see, this administration is committed to do our best to lessen the impact created by storms like Hurricane Irene, nor’easters, and heavy thunder storms. While no one can predict what Mother Nature has in store for us, being prepared greatly reduces the risk of loss from severe weather. If you have any questions or concerns about weathering a storm, feel free to call my office at (201) 330-2005.