STORM WATCH: Towns bordering the Passaic River prep for flooding from Ida’s remnants

Towns that border the Passaic River, such as Fairfield, are always concerned when storms like Ida approach.

News 12 Staff

Sep 1, 2021, 9:10 AM

Updated 957 days ago

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Towns that border the Passaic River, such as Fairfield, are always concerned when storms like Ida approach. 
The police chief says a difference of 2 inches of rainfall can make all the difference in flooding, something Frankie Wdowiak, a resident of Clifton, doesn’t want to deal with again.  
“Water was up to here,” says Wdowiak. “I had to leave my car out there, I got it back in two days. The battery ended up being dead. Same car.”
LIVE UPDATES: Tracking Ida
Wdowiak’s car survived floodwaters from the Passaic River once, but he doesn’t want to try it twice. In Fairfield, police are busy in the command center. 
“On the board that you see behind me is the Pine Brook Gauge at the Passaic River and that’s literally our gospel in trying to judge how bad flooding will be,” says Chief Anthony Manna.
Manno says Fairfield can handle 3 inches of rain, but closer to 5 inches could cause significant flooding throughout town. Although not expected from Ida, 8 inches of rain could lead to an unwanted, record setting weekend of flooding. 
“Twenty-four was Irene I guess in 2011 and Fairfield had significant flooding,” says Manno. “It was the worst we ever had.”
When it comes to flooding, the chief says the Passaic River will crest on Friday if there is significant rain, which could lead to flooding issues into Saturday. The hope is that Ida will let up a bit and not drop any more than 3 inches of rain. 


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