By Desirée Taylor
Preparations are underway in towns across the state for Hurricane Sandy. In Cranford, in Union County, Department of Public Works employees were filling bags with sand this morning. By noon, there was a long line of cars filled with anxious residents waiting to pick up the sand bags so they can use them to protect their home. Crews also put up sand bags and cement barriers outside of town hall which is located steps away from the Rahway River. The river has been the source of flooding problems in Cranford in recent years. If Hurricane Sandy does hit the area, officials say they will keep a close watch on the gauges in the region to check the water level.
It was just over a year ago that Tropical Storm Irene caused severe flooding and damage in Cranford. It cost the town millions of dollars to clean up and rebuild. Repairs and renovations continue at town hall forcing some employees to work in trailers. “Unfortunately people are still recovering from Irene,” said Cranford Mayor David Robinson. “Some people just moved back into their homes two weeks ago.”
Town officials say they have the manpower and equipment ready to handle Hurricane Sandy. “We have some temporary pumps so if there is street flooding we can get the water out … We opened the flood gates on the river … and we also lowered the water,” said Mayor Robinson.