Rain Raises Flooding Concerns At Oradell Reservoir

NEW JERSEY (CBSNewYork) — There are concerns more rain could mean flooding in Bergen County, New Jersey where the Oradell Reservoir is over-capacity with water levels at 103 percent.

It’s a stark contrast to what the waterway looked like just six months ago.

In October, the water level was nearly immeasurable with the muck was so dry it cracked under the stress of drought.

Residents found themselves facing the possibility of mandatory restrictions when annual rainfall ran more than 10 inches below normal.

As CBS2’s Vanessa Murdock reported, on Thursday, skies unleashed in the afternoon, and for most of the day a light mist dampened the earth. Geese didn’t mind, but some humans seemed to.

“Not when the wind blows,” said George Hodges who attempted to take a short stroll.

Over the past two weeks, only three days registered completely dry, but persistent rains mean reservoir levels swelled.

More: Check Latest Forecast | Rainy Day Guide

Now we’re running a surplus with water that measures 23.5′ deep.

 

“This seems like an awful lot of rain, and it seems like a very high reservoir very high reservoir, but this is not a typical for April,” SUEZ Water Director of Communications Billie Gallo said, adding that it likely seems uncharacteristic because the area just came out of a drought.

SUEZ was paying close attention to Thursday’s rain.

“We have staff monitoring the levels of the reservoir very carefully,” Gallo said.

It seems the area is rebounding from the drought.

“We can breathe a little bit of sigh of relief, some good news,” state climatologist David Robinson said.

Reservoirs, rivers, streams and ground water are all recovering.

“I’d like to wait and see once we maybe go through a week or two that’s drier to see if the streams that are fed by this ground water go back to their average seasonal levels or, as they’ve been doing all the time in the last six, eight, 10 months, going below average once the runoff from a particular rain event ceases,” Robinson said.

North jersey has been under a drought warning since October. State officials are expected to reconsider hat declaration sometime next week.

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