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Hillsdale Cancels Flood Watch

The Pascack Brook did not come close to flood stage Monday, and not much more rain is expected, according to the Hillsdale Office of Emergency Management.

Updated at 9:25 p.m.

Hillsdale has canceled its flood watch, according to a message from the borough's Office of Emergency Management.

As of 8:45 p.m. Monday, the Pascack Brook in Westwood had not passed two feet, according to the National Weather Service. The brook reaches flood stage at five feet. OEM officials said they expected only one more inch of rain through the night.

High winds have knocked down numerous trees around the area and knocked out power for some residents, though the exact extent of power outages was not immediately clear Monday night.

Earlier Monday, residents of flood-prone neighborhoods in Hillsdale and Westwood said they were upset that the Woodcliff Lake Reservoir was not lowered more as Hurricane Sandy approached.

New Jersey and New York state officials had ordered United Water to lower several of their reservoirs, including Woodcliff Lake, Friday night. Data from the U.S. Geological Survey shows that the water level had been slowly lowering last week, then dropped more quickly from about 91.2 feet to about 90.9 feet Saturday.

In the historically flood-prone area near the Pascack Brook between Glendale Drive in Hillsdale and Harding Avenue in Westwood, many residents told Patch they believed the drop had not been enough to protect their homes from flooding.

"They keep the level unreasonably high," Lafayette Avenue resident Tom Simmons said.

Simmons said his home had flooded three times previously, including last year with Hurricane Irene. He expects Sandy will flood his home again and make him have to replace his boiler, sheet rock and other items from the lower level of his home again.

Harding Avenue resident Dan Atkins said he was also expecting to get flooded, despite a pair of pumps that can move 2,500 gallons of water per hour. Atkins said he believed the reservoir should have been lowered to 88 feet, it's lowest possible height.

"That three feet makes a big difference to us," Atkins said.

United Water New Jersey Vice President and General Manager Jim Glozzy said in a press release that "further releases have been discontinued as ordered by the state."

“United Water New Jersey acted in full compliance with a state order and has been in continuous contact with the NJDEP,” Glozzy said.

Further downstream in Hackensack and River Edge, flooding had already been reported as early as Monday morning.

In Westwood and Hillsdale, residents were busy preparing for the flood. Atkins said his family was leaving, but he would stay in their home as long as he could.

"Someone needs to be hear to turn on the pumps," he said.

Read more:

  • Sandy Central on Patch (Our live feed of coverage)
  • Hurricane Sandy Forces Schools to Close
  • Bergen County Opens Storm Shelter
  • President Obama Issues Emergency Declaration For New Jersey
  • State Officials Order Lowering of Woodcliff Lake Reservoir

Have a question or news tip? Contact editor Jim Leggate at Jim.Leggate@patch.com, or find us on Facebook and Twitter. For news straight to your inbox, sign up for our daily newsletter.

Michael October 29, 2012 at 06:30 PM
Water backs up & with storm surge it's going back up the river anyways to flood anything in it's path.

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