Hurricane Irene causes flooding, topples trees and wire

FREEHOLD, NJ – The Monmouth County Office of Emergency Management continues to remind residents that dangers still exist in the wake of Hurricane Irene.

OEM officials also caution drivers about traveling on flooded roadways because the water may be deeper than they think it is. Motorists should be especially cautious at night when it is harder to recognize flood dangers, downed wires and other hazards.

“The storm surge and amount of rainfall we experienced are contributing to significant inland and coastal flooding and downed trees and power lines,” said Freeholder Thomas A. Arnone, liaison to the county’s OEM. “Do not touch trees or other objects in contact with wires.”

Monmouth County Sheriff Shaun Golden cautions residents to avoid flooded areas entirely.

“We have a number of bridges that were overtopped with rushing water and those areas present a real danger,” Golden said. “Do not attempt to drive on a flooded road – you can be stranded or trapped. The depth of the water and the condition of the road is not always obvious. ”

Golden urges residents to call police or their utility companies immediately to report hazards such as downed power lines, broken gas or water mains or overturned gas tanks.

Officials recommend that you follow these tips after a storm:

  • Stay informed and listen to information updates about the storm.
  • Do not touch fallen or low-hanging wires under any circumstances. Stay away from puddles with wires in/near them. Do not touch trees or other objects in contact with power lines.
  • Use 911 for emergencies only.
  • Call utility companies immediately to report hazards such as downed power lines, broken gas or water mains, overturned gas tanks, etc.
    • Watch for weakened roads, tree limbs or porches that could collapse unexpectedly.
  • After power is restored, check refrigerated food for spoilage. Spoiled food can cause sickness two days to a week after the storm.
  • When reinstalling a CB, TV or satellite antenna, check in all directions to be sure no power lines are nearby. The same goes for climbing trees to clear debris.
  • Do not operate charcoal grills, propane camping stoves or generators indoors.

For more information about emergency preparedness, go to the County website, www.visitmonmouth.nj.us, check the Monmouth County’s Facebook page, or sign up to receive County tweets from Twitter, MonmouthCountyGov.