Sunday, April 14, 2024

Rising Rivers Give Way to Snow

Blair Creek lingered near overflow as the rain subsided. Photo by Joe Phalon.

As the North Warren area shrugs off the most recent winter storm early Tuesday, the Paulins Kill and its tributaries stayed within their banks despite the flood stage reached last week. 

Around two inches of snow fell by early morning, January 16. More than four inches of rain fell during the previous storm a week before. 

National Weather Service river monitoring on the Paulins Kill in Blairstown indicated the river reached just over 5 feet, the level considered flood state. A number of low-lying streets near the river were flooded.

Power outages were a major concern with the wind that picked up later in the day on January 10. In Frelinghuysen, more than 100 homes were without power at some point during the storm. 

“We had 33 homes without power awaiting restoration,” said Frelinghuysen Mayor Keith Ramos. “Kerrs Corner, Lanning, Mill, Mott and CR 661 had a total of 29 homes affected. Bear Creek and Camp Weahqua had four homes affected. As the winds picked up, several downed trees knocked out an additional 120-plus homes.”

In Blairstown, Police Chief Scott Johnsen said at least 146 power outages had been reported by Jersey Central Power & Light. Mount Hernan Road in Centerville was closed for several hours because of a downed utility pole. 

“We have some minor flooding on some back roads that run next to the Paulins Kill,” Johnsen added. 

Hardwick Deputy Mayor and Emergency Management Coordinator Nichole Meuse said that while the Delaware River, which marks the western border of the township, was not expected to reach flood stage, local and county officials continued to monitor the Paulins Kill. She added that late January 9 the County Emergency Operations Center activation stage was elevated to level two.

Meuse said several dozen homes were without power at some point during the storm and afterward.

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.