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Flooding Concerns 'Nothing To Worry About' As Oradell Reservoir Tops Out

Officials were considering mandatory water restrictions just three months ago.
Officials were considering mandatory water restrictions just three months ago. Photo Credit: COURTESY: radioinfom (YouTube)

ORADELL, N.J. -- Barely three months after concerns were raised over drought conditions in North Jersey, the Oradell Reservoir exceeded its capacity on Tuesday, prompting caution about potential flooding in certain areas of Bergen County.

SUEZ Water enacted its first level of notification -- a standard procedure when the reservoir exceeds its capacity of 23.16 feet.

It reached 24.1 early Tuesday, according to the US Geological Survey.

"The first level doesn't mean that flooding is imminent," SUEZ spokeswoman Billie Gallo told Daily Voice. "It's just a matter of making sure that everybody is aware [that capacity has been reached]."

A flood watch was continuing until Friday, with heavy rains expected Thursday, Bergen County emergency management coordinators said.

"This will be the 4th 1-to-2-inch rain event we will see in the last eight days, making it the most active period of storminess probably since 2015," meteorologist Joe Cioffi said. "The cumulative rain plus the snow melt of the last two weeks makes for a very soggy ground, so local flooding Thursday is likely."

Nixel messages were going out Tuesday to those below the Oradell Reservoir "just to let people know there may be some urban flooding -- the type that could come up through the storm drains," Detective Ron Salzano of the Bergen County OEM told Daily Voice.

"It's more proactive than anything," he said. "For instance, people can move their cars from certain areas so they don't have to walk through puddles to get to them.

"Things can always change, of course, but at this point it doesn't look to be anything to worry about."

Just shows how quickly natural circumstances can change.

"We were so close to mandatory restrictions [in January]," SUEZ's Gallo said. "Now we have plenty."

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