Boonton Reservoir Floodgates to Open for 'Frankenstorm'

Hurricane Sandy threat lowers four Northern New Jersey reservoirs starting Friday night.

Gov. Chris Christie announced Friday evening that he is taking action as Hurricane Sandy—the so-called Frankenstorm—heads toward the East Coast.

Christie said he will have gates lowered at four northern New Jersey reservoirs starting Friday night. The move is being done in an effort to mitigate potential flooding from Hurricane Sandy.

“These actions are necessary due to the potentially unprecedented nature of the storm that is heading our way,” he said. “A great deal of rainfall is expected which could cause major flooding, so we are taking every step we can to try to mitigate the potential flooding that could occur.” 

Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Bob Martin detailed the steps during a teleconference this evening with local officials.

“New Jersey’s reservoirs are designed to provide water, not for flood control,” said Martin. “But given the situation, we decided we needed to get as much water out of the reservoir systems as possible, creating void space for runoff from the storm.”

The reservoirs being drawn down are the Boonton Reservoir (which serves Parsippany-Troy Hills), the Woodcliffe Lake-Lake Tappan-Oradell Reservoir, the Charlottesburg Reservoir and the Wanaque Reservoir.

During Hurricane Irene, which hit New Jersey in August 2011, floods caused severe flooding throughout Parsippany and, in particular, Lake Hiawatha, where some homeowners remain displaced more than a year later.

Some residents theorized that the flooding damage could have been minimized had flood gates at over-capacity reservoirs been lowered days prior to Irene's appearance. Area government officials maintain that the cause of the flooding was an unprecedented rainfall, and not the reservoir gates.

Janet Saulter-Hemmer October 27, 2012 at 01:36 AM
The "Boonton Reaervoir" is located in Boonton, but is actually called the "Jetsey City Reservoir."
Harriet Scarangella October 27, 2012 at 01:45 AM
Is he doing anything about the Passaic River areas in Fairfield, Lincoln Park and Little Falls which was devastated during the last hurricane. The people are still cleaning up from Hurricane Irene.
brian October 27, 2012 at 03:00 AM
the boonton reservoir is in Kinnelon the reservoir that floods Lake Hiawatha is the Jersey city Reservoir Janet is correct, which one is being lower. PPD said the reservoir is well below spill stage?
Wit October 27, 2012 at 10:16 AM
The Jersey City Resevoir is located in Parsippany
joe raich October 27, 2012 at 11:31 AM
My neighbors and I appllied the pressure to lower the Boonton Reservoir, I hope this strategy will work... I know of two bills in the State Assembly, and Senate that would force such plans, and lowerings. These bills must get out of committees, be passed, and signed. Furthermore engineering reccomendations need to provide solutions to North Jersey's fragile environment. As an Irene victim I encourage support on November 6th.
John Depot October 27, 2012 at 02:50 PM
Oh my goodness.... The "Boonton Reservoir" is the large body of water located at the intersection of Rt. 46 and Rt. 287. It is owned by Jersey City Water Works. The western 2/3rds is located in Boonton; the eastern 1/3 is located in Parsippany. And lowering it won't help if the rainfall rates are too fast and heavy. Good luck to us all with this upcoming storm!!
brian October 27, 2012 at 04:52 PM
lowering the boonton reservoir does paraippany no good its the jersey city reservior!
brian October 27, 2012 at 04:52 PM
thats the jersey city res
Mrs. K October 27, 2012 at 05:01 PM
Brian, the Jersey City Water Works, or the reservoir that supplies the water to Jersey City, is officially know as the Boonton Reservoir due to its location. The reservoir that actually supplies the water to Boonton is in Kinnelon. The water levels are well below flood stage, but they are letting water out anyway.
clyde donovan October 27, 2012 at 05:39 PM
Correct Mrs. K. The reservior in Parsippany that supplies water for Jersey City and a few other communities is one of the four being drained down.
shovelitin October 28, 2012 at 12:07 AM
You applied the pressure? Right. Guess because of you several have been lowered. It would never have been thought of. Appllied? Reccomendations? Can you spell? Think I saw your name on a ballot. Cannot vote for someone who cannot spell.
einaphets October 28, 2012 at 10:59 PM
Lowering the levels will help. Many officials in parsippany and pine brook theorize the gates were opened during Irene which led to flooding in both towns. The flooding came in too quickly to have been rainfall. In pine brook the water came in not from the river side as it normally does, but from the street side.


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