Sunday, April 14, 2024

Overnight Rain and Wind Threaten North Warren  

A powerful storm is expected to dump two to three inches of rain on already saturated areas of New Jersey, with some local downpours of four inches possible. Chart: National Weather Service.

As of 5 p.m. Tuesday, the Warren County Office of Emergency Management (OEM) remains at a Level 3 (Enhanced Monitoring) status as heavy rains and high winds are expected overnight.

Saturated soil from 10 inches of snow earlier this week is compounding concerns over a wind advisory that took effect at 5 p.m. Tuesday afternoon while an expected two to three inches of rain—possibly four in some areas—overnight also loom. 

Blairstown Police Chief Scott Johnsen said trees are more susceptible to uprooting from the wind during and after heavy rain. 

“There is great concern with how saturated our water table is for trees being knocked down resulting in power outages,” Johnsen said. 

Hardwick Emergency Management Coordinator Nicole Meuse said officials there are monitoring the situation closely and she will be meeting with county OEM officials throughout the night.

The National Weather Service (NWS) said sustained winds of 25-35 mph with gusts up to 55 are likely. The worst of the wind is expected before midnight and the advisory expires at 3 a.m. Wednesday.

In addition, the North Warren area is under a flood watch until 6 p.m. Wednesday, with localized downpours of up to four inches. Along the Paulins Kill and its tributaries, flash flooding is a major concern. 

At 4:15 Tuesday, NWS river monitoring on the Paulins Kill in Blairstown was measured at a steady 2.21 feet, well below the flood stage of 5 feet. However, the NWS emphasized that heavy rain and localized downpours can cause swift changes in the river levels. 

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.