[Update 1:30 p.m.] Floodwaters have begun to recede in and around Bloomfield after Hurricane Irene dumped several inches of water on the township, according to Director of Emergency Management Fred Menzel.
Menzel, speaking from the township’s emergency operations center, said while the water levels have gone down, “nearly 400 basements around the township will need to be pumped out.” The township will need a few days to get all of the basements taken care of, Menzel said.
Also, Menzel said, the township’s department of public works has two tree crews out around the township to remove fallen trees and limbs. “The crews are getting to the trees as quickly as possible,” he said. He went on to remind residents to call the operations center at (973) 680-4177 for non-emergency issues like this.
The township opened the civic center for use as a shelter, but no one showed up, Menzel said.
The township plans on keeping the center open for residents until 8 or 9 p.m. Sunday.
[Updated 11 a.m.] Patch freelancer Michelle Lee, a resident of Troy Towers, says water levels over by Watsessing Park have "lowered a little" since her last update.
[Updated 10:35 a.m.] Patch freelancer Michelle Lee, a resident of Troy Towers says the water levels are high over at Watsessing Park on Bloomfield Avenue and Conger Street.
Lee said the park's basketball courts and soccer fields are flooded out to the point where only the top of the soccer goal and basketball hoop are visible.
Lee will be following the story all day for Patch. Check back for details.
[Updated 10 a.m.] Residents in Bloomfield have been battling Hurricane Irene all night and into the morning, according to officials at the township’s emergency operations center.
Officials say they are overwhelmed with flooding since the storm hit the area in the early morning hours.
At the center, Doreen Butler said Director of Emergency Management Fred Menzel and Deputy Coordinator of Emergency Management Tom Pelaia were on their way out to coordinate evacuation of flooded residents and were unavailable for comment at 9:45 this morning.
Bloomfield has set up a temporary shelter for residents at the civic center, although Butler could not say if any residents were at the shelter.
Although she said there were too many streets to name in Bloomfield, Butler did list the following Bloomfield streets as flooded: Hyde Road, Meadow Lane, Ampere Parkway and Thomas Street.
Around Essex County
Tom Kines, senior meterologist with AccuWeather.com said the worst of the storm is over for Essex County.
"The heaviest rain should be done with, but it's still going to be windy during the course of the afternoon," Kines said. "We're still going to see wind gusts over 40 mph. And it wouldn't be shocking to see the sun make an appearance later."
Kines added, "As far as wind speeds are concerned, this is pretty much what we expected. Looks like a lot of the time winds were sustained closer to 30 mph with gusts closer to 50 mph or 60 mph."
"Obviously, we had a lot of rainfall overnight. It looks like close to 9 inches has fallen in the area, " he said.
All night and into the morning, the township of Millburn has battled Hurricane Irene, as the township continues to experiences "major flooding," downtown and elsewhere, which caused the closure of several streets and the evacuation of the care center, according to emergency services officials.
With water starting to go over the South Mountain flood walls, Millburn has asked for assistance by the National Guard if a full-scale evacuation of the area becomes neccessary.
As of 9:20 this morning, water was flowing over the flood walls built to protect the South Mountain neighborhood after Hurricane Floyd. But, Lt. Peter Eakley, of Millburn's Office of Emergency Management's and the Milburn Police Department, said the walls are not in danger of being breeched.
"We are not recommending that anyone evacuate your home at this juncture. Please move to your first floor and stay out of your basements," he said. "If you have a life hazard emergency, we will conduct a rescue operation.
In Maplewood and South Orange, flooding and power outages are affecting many township residents. In fact, PSE&G says statewide 250,000 residents are still without power, but 70,000 people have had power restored by the utility.
Meanwhile, residents in Millburn, Short Hills, West Orange and Maplewood have been told to boil their water by officials from New Jersey American Water Company.
In Livingston, Irene’s wrath was plain to see: 35-40 trees down, at least one falling on a home, close to half bringing down power lines, those neighborhoods without power Sunday morning. Four families were evacuated overnight when Canoe Brook flooded over, according to Mike Anello, the township’s supervisor of Public Works.
A huge tree fell across South Livingston Avenue at Bennington Road, taking down power lines and closing parts of the road that runs through the center of town, said Detective Sgt. Anthony Dippold.
No injuries have been reported in Livingston because of the storm, Dippold said.