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Monday, June 17, 2024

Knowlton Cleans Up After Storm

Electric power was restored to Knowlton residents by 4 p.m. Tuesday, about 22 hours after a storm ripped across North Warren County, shredding power lines, downing trees and dropping marble-size hail.

The July 12 storm prompted the issuance of a tornado warning by the National Weather Service at just after 5:45 p.m., expiring at 6:15 p.m. Knowlton Mayor Adele Starrs credited the Nixle emergency alert system for notifying residents of the warning.

“I am grateful for our Nixle emergency communication system,” Starrs said. “Our township invested in it a few years ago, and this was the perfect illustration of how useful it is.”

Damage in front of house and to roof
The Garden State Heirloom Seed Society History Museum on Delaware Road was damaged by a fallen tree during the July 12 storm, Photo by Joe Phalon

Starrs said that within seconds 2,346 residents were alerted to the National Weather Service tornado warning by phone and 1,407 by email, which advised them to take shelter immediately. With a population of about 3,000, at least a vast majority of residents received the alerts, taking into account some people getting the alerts by both methods.

Fallen trees and downed power lines were reported throughout Knowlton and surrounding areas, though Knowlton appeared to bear the brunt of the fast-moving storm. Several trees were reported having been ripped out, which blocked portions of Simpson Road.

The Garden State Heirloom Seed Society History Museum on Delaware Road was minding it own business when a decades-old tree was ripped out of the ground, causing substantial damage to the roof. The tree also took power lines to the area with it.

By Wednesday the Department of Public Works had cleared all the roads within the township and continued to remove branches and limbs still near roadways.

Starrs said she urges any residents who have not signed up for the Nixle alert to do so. In addition to weather alerts, users can also be notified of alerts involving crime, traffic and missing persons as well as other important local announcements. To sign up, go to and enter the Knowlton Zip Code of 07832. You can choose to receive alerts via your phone and/or email.

Tree fallen and uprooted in front of yellow house
Damage caused by the July 12 storm to the roof of the Garden State Heirloom Seed Society History, Photo by Joe Phalon
Joe Phalon
Joe Phalon, Contributing Writer
Contributing Writer

Joe was lured out of retirement by the opportunity to be a part of the Ridge View Echo. During a decades-long career in publishing and journalism, he has covered government on many levels from local school boards to the United States Supreme Court.

Along the way, Joe has worked at American Lawyer Magazine, The National Law Journal and The Record among other publications, and as the Press Officer of Columbia Law School. His work has been recognized with several first place awards from the Society of Professional Journalists and the New Jersey Press Association.

Being part of the Ridge View Echo brings Joe back to his roots and the kind of news coverage he loves: Telling the stories of people and local communities as well as keeping an eye on how their money is spent by their government officials.

Joe lives in Blairstown with his wife Rose, the founder of Quilting for a Cause, and their two wiener dogs. He is an artist in his spare time.