Rivers and streams across New Jersey have been inundated by rains from Hurricane Irene, with many small streams at flood level now and some larger rivers expected to peak over the next 48 hours. Many of the streams and rivers are at or expected to reach record or near-record flood levels because the ground was already saturated before the storm.
The Department of Environmental Protection is carefully monitoring this situation and is working closely with local Offices of Emergency Management in all 21 counties, which will notify residents if evacuations are deemed necessary. Local officials also stand ready to prepare for and assist in any potential rescues.
Task Force One, which is New Jersey’s urban search and rescue team, will also be deployed for swift water rescue missions if the need arises
Concerned residents are urged to check the web sites of their County and Local Offices of Emergency Management for information. If they are unsure of the potential for danger, however, they are urged to leave their homes for safer ground.
There is potential record flooding possible in the Passaic River Basin due to torrential rain from the hurricane, combined with previous wet weather and saturated grounds this summer. Record flows in the Ramapo River and its tributaries are expected to result in substantial floods in that region. State Police are bringing in special rescue equipment and vehicles to help deal with that situation.
The Delaware River at Trenton and New Hope/Lambertville is expected to approach major flood stage Monday morning and then gradually subside – though remain above normal levels – through Tuesday.
Water releases made by New York City’s reservoir system in the Delaware River Basin are expected to take four to five days to reach Trenton. This is expected to have little impact on flooding because that water will arrive well after the crest for the Delaware River downstream in New Jersey.
Peak water levels in the Raritan River are expected to be reached tonight at Bound Brook and Raritan, and the same for the tributary Millstone River at Blackwell Mills.
The North Branch of the Rancocas Creek at Pemberton is expected peak at major flood stage early Monday morning and remain at that level until mid-day on Tuesday.
For a detailed look at river conditions across New Jersey, please visit: http://water.weather.gov/ahps2/index.php?wfo=phi