Home Shamong News How Shamong Township faired in Hurricane Irene

How Shamong Township faired in Hurricane Irene

How Shamong Township faired in Hurricane Irene

By Katrina Grant

Hurricane Irene may not have hit Southern New Jersey with the full force that a Category One hurricane brings with it, but it still brought damage. For the first time in six years, the state faced the prospect of a major hurricane and one of that magnitude had not been seen since the 1930s. In the end, along the East Coast, millions were left without power, dozens lost their lives and the cost of damage is estimated to be in the billions.

Many counties in New Jersey were in the direct path of the storm and all had their own way of dealing with it. Shamong Township was among them.

On the Thursday morning before the storm, Shamong Township held meetings to coordinate with the Office of Emergency Management, the Fire Company and Emergency Medical Services. The township wanted to make sure that each of the organizations were ready for the storm and that there was a collective plan in place, officials said.

For township residents, there was also a regional shelter opened up in Medford, and Shamong Township had its own shelter open at Indian Mills Memorial School. The shelters were in place for any residents who felt the need to go to one and in case any areas needed to be evacuated. The residents were made aware of the shelters through reverse 911 calls and announcements.

“There was an emergency management plan in place that was followed,” Sue Onorato, township administrator, said. “There were a couple areas of concern for evacuation. We did open our shelter at the Memorial School, and that shelter provided food so residents would be able to get their needs met at the nutritional level.”

Like many areas in the state, Shamong Township did experience a widespread power outage. As of last week, about two-dozen residents were without power, and some had been for days.

“To be without power for a few days is more than an inconvenience for someone,” Onorato said.

In addition to the power outages, Shamong Township also experienced downed trees and flooding.

“We did have a downed tree on Atsion Road that was on a power line,” Onorato said. “Atlantic City Electric had to take care of that because it was on the line.”

Also, some lakes were lowered and some residents saw water damage to their homes. Officials reported no injuries.

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