rap #57 03/15/10
COUNTY RESPONDED TO WEEKEND STORM;
CLEANUP CONTINUES AS FLOOD WATERS RECEDE
OCEAN COUNTY emergency officials and work crews were out in force over the weekend clearing fallen trees and
responding to flooding during and after the ferocious late-winter storm that ravaged the area.
“From our Emergency Management Office to the Road Department, our employees answered the call during this vicious
coastal storm,” said Freeholder Deputy Director John P. Kelly.
Kelly, who is also Director of Law and Public Safety, said sheriff’s officers were ready to assist local police departments
in flood-stricken zones.
“Our Emergency Management Office closely monitored the storm and was in contact with several towns which experienced
flooding, including Manchester, Brick and Plumsted,” he said. “Fortunately, all of our local towns were well prepared to
protect their citizens and property.”
The county was in constant contact not only with municipalities, but also with state Emergency Management officials.
“We were ready to go,” Kelly said. “In many ways, this storm was more damaging and more dangerous than the blizzards that
struck the county this winter.”
Flooding was especially a concern in coastal areas and along the county’s swollen rivers and streams, he said.
More than 3 inches of rain fell in parts of the county and winds gusted more than 60 mph, according to the National Weather
Freeholder Director James F. Lacey said Ocean County Road Department crews were dispatched over the weekend to help remove
fallen trees and clear roadways.
“The ground was already saturated from all the melted snow, so once the rain started falling it just made things worse,”
Lacey said. “Even older sturdier trees couldn’t fight the combination of wet ground and high winds.”
Trees also fell at several Ocean County parks.
Ocean County Park in Lakewood, The Ocean County Golf Course at Atlantis in Little Egg Harbor Township and Berkeley Island
County Park in Berkeley Township are closed because of storm damage, said Michael T. Mangum, director of the Ocean County
Department of Parks and Recreation.
High winds snapped the tops of some of the towering white pine trees in Ocean County Park.
“They came down like toothpicks.” he said,
Trees are also down on the golf course at Atlantis and floodwaters damaged the fishing pier at Berkeley Island Park.
“We’re waiting for the waters to go down so we can assess the pier,” Mangum said.
All three parks are expected to reopen later this week.
Trees also fell at the County Complex in downtown Toms River and some minor water and wind damage was reported at some