As residents in certain areas of Mahwah are waking up to what Police Chief James Batelli called “feet of water, not inches,” the massive cleanup effort after Hurricane Irene is underway.
“During the storm, we answered about 4,000 calls for service, which is really significant,” Batelli said. And he called the damage police saw across Mahwah Sunday “extensive.”
Mahwah police and fire units evacuated “at least 15 homes,” during Irene using the fire department rescue boats, many in the area of Catherine Ave. and Alexandria Court.
Some residents are still stuck in their homes.
“People on Glen Gray, Deerhaven and several other roads have no way out,” as pooled flood waters block passage, Batelli said.
There were several rumored conditions during the storm that the chief said were not true.
There was a hazmat spill that the township hazmat team responded to, but it was at a home in Upper Saddle River, not Mahwah.
And a call in about a broken dam in Rockland County turned out to be “not true,” he said.
Now, many of the major concerns as cleanup efforts begin are downed trees and power outages.
At least five homes suffered damage from fallen trees and limbs, the PD from a fallen limb during the storm, and as of 5 a.m. Monday, 4,156 Orange & Rockland customers in Mahwah were without power. Over 13,000 O&R customers in Bergen are waking up in the dark.
Batelli said the police and fire departments will continue to respond to residents in need, but that the effects of the “massive” flooding of the Ramapo River will continue to be felt in Mahwah.