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United Water Lowering Woodcliff Lake Reservoir Before Storm

The National Weather Service warned of potential flooding in Bergen County Thursday through Saturday morning.

Updated at 8:07 a.m. Thursday.

United Water began releasing water from the Woodcliff Lake Reservoir Wednesday after the National Weather Service issued the third flood watch in a week for Bergen County and much of the tri-state area Wednesday, according to Westwood Mayor John Birkner.

The watch lasts from Thursday morning through Saturday morning. As of 7 a.m. Thursday, water in the reservoir was at elevation 94.05.

The drawdown came just one day after engineers who prepared a report about the upcoming dam project said that releasing the water will not necessarily mitigate flooding, but a tool to predict the best time to release water in order to reduce some flooding could likely be created by studying the reservoir and brook.

The NWS has predicted between 3.5 and 4.5 inches of rain will fall in the area, potentially causing flooding in small streams.

"I strongly advise all residents living in flood prone areas to take all necessary precautions to secure your property from the threats of high winds and flood waters," Birkner wrote in a message to residents.

Further downstream, the Oradell Reservoir was also less than 2 inches below its capacity level, Birkner wrote Wednesday night.

Last Friday night, rain from the remnants of Tropical Storm Andrea caused the Pascack Brook to flood. At least one resident reported getting water in his home as a result.

Members of the Hillsdale & Westwood Flood Solution Group protested United Water's dam operations during that storm, saying that a release of water from the reservoir prior to the storm could reduce or prevent some flooding.

The NWS issued another flood watch Monday lasting until Tuesday morning, through the brook apparently stayed within its banks during that storm.

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.

zella June 14, 2013 at 11:52 AM
"Carelessly dumping" and clueless comments go hand and hand.
dave bager June 14, 2013 at 07:05 PM
it's obvious who works for united water when you read some nonsense....
Pete June 16, 2013 at 01:43 PM
Here are the capacities of the United Water reservoirs (from the USGS): Oradell   3.5 billion gal. DeForest  5.7 billion gal. Woodcliff  .9 billion gal. Tappan  3.9 billion gal. Woodcliff Lake represents between 6 and 7 percent of the system. Regardless of whether that seems like a meaningful amount, it's 6 to 7 times the above-stated figure of 1%.
Pete June 16, 2013 at 01:47 PM
Source: http://pubs.usgs.gov/wdr/2005/wdr-nj-05-1/pdf/Hackensack05.pdf Figures rounded to nearest .1 billion.
vish.all.well June 17, 2013 at 12:14 AM
1% of the capacity is the amount that contributes to FLOOD in the areas - i.e water occupied between 89 ft to 95 ft. (6 ft of water) if UW let go that 1% and keep the water level to 89 ft - there will be no flooding... it can be operational management of water... Is the 1% of water worth causing such a havoc among the communities!!! That is the question these communities, people are asking... Can UW answer that question???

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