The New City Fire Department's volunteers are busy preparing for the incoming storm, and will be standing by at the firehouse on Maple Avenue when the worst of the storm hits.
Firefighters will be spending a considerable amount of time this weekend checking apparatus fuel levels, tools, saws and pumps that will more than likely be needed over the next several days.
Due to the expected severity of this storm, the fire department will not conduct courtesy "pump outs" of homes, businesses, etc. until the storm has passed. These requests quickly tax resources needed to respond to more serious alarms. If utility services are compromised due to rising water, they will be secured. Only after the storm has ended will any attempt be made to conduct these operations, and will be done only as manpower levels and time allow.
The fire department would also like to remind residents of several safety points to remember during the storm:
- DO NOT DRIVE THROUGH STANDING WATER- although you may think the water is shallow, it could be hiding a washed out roadway, lifted manhole covers or storm grates, causing you and your vehicle to become stranded.
- DO NOT DRIVE THROUGH MOVING WATER - it takes very little moving water, sometimes only an inch or so, to cause your vehicle to lift off the road surface and be moved along by the current.
- STAY AWAY FROM ALL DOWNED WIRES! - consider ALL downed wires as live and dangerous. NEVER touch or move a wire. CALL O&R, and remain a safe distance away, especially if the wire is being blown around by gusts of wind. Also be aware of what the wire may have come in contact with- metal fences, vehicles or other items may be live and charged with electricity.
AVOID COMMONLY FLOODED AREAS IN NEW CITY- every severe storm in our area typically results in heavy flooding on Main Street in front of Shop-Rite, Old Rt. 304, the Rt. 304/Cavalry Drive intersection, as well as several other locations. Along with this flooding comes the persistent issue of drivers believing they can drive through these areas, and then quickly become stranded, requiring the response of the fire department. Again, DO NOT drive through water.
DO NOT SWIM, WADE, RAFT, TUBE, etc. on flooded streams and creeks. Several people almost lost their lives during Irene when they attempted a poorly thought out plan to navigate a swollen and fast moving creek on rafts. Their rescues required a tremendous amount of manpower, time and equipment that was sorely needed elsewhere.
Please, if at all possible - STAY HOME. There are few good reasons for ANYONE to be on the roads during a storm of this magnitude. Remember you are not only putting your life in danger, you are also risking the lives of the rescuers who respond to help.
Help us help you. Stay safe, and please follow the simple advice above.
For further information, residents can go to the Department of Homeland Security's website on hurricane preparedness at
Kenny Flynn is chief of the New City Fire Department.