HomeCherry Hill NewsCherry Hill is back to normal after Hurricane Irene

Cherry Hill is back to normal after Hurricane Irene

Hurricane Irene made her presence known in South Jersey Saturday evening and Sunday morning, dumping nearly six inches of rainfall on the region, taking down trees and power lines, as well as flooding many area roadways.

At noon on Monday, PSE&G reported about 200,000 New Jersey residents were still without power. As of 4 p.m. on Monday afternoon, Cherry Hill township spokesman Dan Keashen estimates that about 90 percent of residents now have power. Throughout the storm, about 40 to 50 percent of township residents were without power for a period of time, Keashen said.

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Cherry Hill also reported numerous local roads that were impacted by downed wires and trees. During the storm, Routes 70, 38 and Haddonfield-Berlin Rd. were closed, at times, due to flooding. Residential streets were also impacted, as well. All major roads in the township are now open.

The township received calls for close to 100 downed trees. About 60 or so were deemed hazardous. The 60, which blocked streets and sidewalks, have been mostly cleared off of the roadways at this point. Keashen said DPW should have all of the trees and downed wires cleared up by tonight.

Prior to the event, the township handed out sandbags to residents at the two Cherry Hill high schools–2,000 in total.

Saturday evening, the township told residents through its Facebook and Twitter pages that the Community Center at 820 Mercer St. and Cherry Hill High School East were places residents could use as a last resort for shelter. The shelters didn’t see much activity, but were open for residents to utilize.

Keashen said public safety officials and the Office of Emergency Management were thankful many residents heeded the call to stay in during the storm. The township did respond to one incident of a motorist driving into a body of water.

Early Sunday morning, the Evans Mill Dam at the Cooper River rose about three feet above the flood water level. Around 6 a.m., a Camden County engineer surveyed the dam. The township then enacted a voluntary evacuation of the area. Around 9 a.m., officials reported that the dam had reached a safe level.

Throughout the event, township officials provided up-to-the-minute updates on its social media sites, including Facebook and Twitter. Residents could also receive text alerts by texting ‘Follow @CherryHillTwp’ to 40404. The township also utilized its website, email notifications and two TV channels to get the word out.

The mayor’s office was also open from Saturday afternoon to Sunday afternoon, with DPW available until the early evening on Sunday.

“We tried to stay as active as possible. We were working hard to field questions. (Social Media) provided an excellent vehicle for us,” Keashen said.

Moving forward, the township will continue to use its Twitter site (@cherryhilltwp) as the primary way to keep residents in the know about serious weather conditions.

Officials will also continue using the website, Facebook page, email notifications and the TV stations, as well. About 500 people registered for the email notifications just prior to and during the storm, Keashen added.


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