The latest briefing from weather officials mentioned the chance of record-breaking floods early next week when Hurricane Sandy slams the Garden State. To mitigate potential damage, Governor Chris Christie announced today that water levels will be manually drawn down from a number of rivers and lakes in advance of the storm.

The drawdowns involve the Woodcliffe Lake-Lake Tappan-Oradell Reservoir, the Charlottesburg Reservoir, the Wanaque Reservoir and the Boonton Reservoir, as well as Pompton Lake and Lake Hopatcong.

Lake Hopatcong
Lake Hopatcong (Flickr User wootang01)

“Opening these flood gates is a necessary action to help mitigate the effects of this potentially unprecedented storm that is heading our way,” said Governor Christie. “We are taking every step we can to...provide relief to some of our communities who are often hardest hit by severe weather and flooding.”

Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Bob Martin admitted the state's waterways are for providing water, not flood control, but said the unique action is needed.

Reservoir drawdowns should take 20 to 30 hours, and they will stop well in advance of any heavy rainfall. The state will handle both lakes on Saturday. The smaller of the two, Pompton Lake, should take five to six hours to complete.

The Governor will address the media and public at two separate events Saturday - one in North Middletown and one in North Wildwood.

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