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Hurricane Sandy: Oakland 'Quiet' As Officials Prepare for Flooding

No power outages were reported as of Monday afternoon.

As the effects of Hurricane Sandy began to strike New Jersey Monday, Oakland officials said the borough had not seen much excitement so far.

"Right now, it's really pretty quiet," Borough Administrator Richard Kunze said. "We're fully prepared for anything that the storm can bring at this point, but right now, it has the characteristics of a fall rainstorm."

Kunze said no power outages were reported in the borough as of 1 p.m. and Mayor Linda Schwager said she has been monitoring levels of the Ramapo River and it has been rather calm. The river has flooded in the past, including last year after Tropical Storm Irene hit New Jersey. Kunze and Schwager said they are planning for the river to once again flood, but began preparing days in advance.

"We can't control the river, but we've done everything we can to curtail the extra flooding," Schwager said.

Kunze said plans are in place for communicating with the public if evacuation is needed. Borough officials have discussed possible shelter locations, but Schwager said a local shelter will not be opened unless it is absolutely necessary.

"We have the place, but we're not opening until we have to to save manpower and resources where it's needed," she said.

Kunze said the Bergen County Community College will be opened as a county shelter for those in need.

As far as closings, Schwager said Oakland public schools will be closed on Tuesday and Kunze said the borough offices will remain open Monday and be open for a half-day on Tuesday, beginning at 1 p.m. Borough offices will close on Tuesday if power is lost, he said. The library is also closed and senior center activities have been canceled.

The borough will continue to communicate with the public through its reverse 9-1-1 system and through the borough website. Kunze said the potential power outages may create a challenge for borough officials hoping to get in touch with the public, but that the borough plans to keep communicating as much as possible.

Paul Curtis October 29, 2012 at 08:41 PM
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