(Track the storm by visiting the NOAA website.)

Hello all.
As most of you have heard, Governor Christie has declared a state of emergency in advance of the storm’s predicted arrival tomorrow. Frenchtown residents should take all proper precautions to prepare for very heavy rain, high winds and likely flooding.

The governor’s declaration means that people should stay home and not use their cars to get around. Many businesses (and all state and county offices) will be closed. Roads in Frenchtown are almost certain to flood and some may flood very very quickly, so it’s best to stay off the roads entirely, if possible. Police have broad powers under such emergencies to maintain the health, safety and welfare of individuals and the community. If a road is blocked by barricades or cones, please respect those warnings and do not cross them… accidents often result that are costly and sometimes fatal.

Council President Brad Myhre, director of Frenchtown’s Office of Emergency Management, has called a meeting for tomorrow at 1 p.m. to review emergency response plans and coordinate the roles of the fire company, the police, the CERT team and other first responders.

We will communicate with everyone again after that meeting. If you are not on my email list, please send me an email so we can add you. We’ll also post announcements to the Frenchtown Borough website, www.frenchtownboro.com and post links to those announcements on the Frenchtown Facebook page.

The OEM team would like to know in advance who in town depends on medical equipment or other health devices that might be compromised by a power failure. Please forward that information to the borough police at 908-996-2067 or frenchtownpolice@yahoo.com as soon as possible.

Emergencies such as these always bring challenges because it’s impossible to plan for everything… and this storm is widely thought to be more powerful and potentially dangerous than any we’ve seen in several generations. Frenchtown has always looked out for one another in the past and I’m confident that we will do so again this time. Remember to keep an eye out for neighbors who could need help.

All that said, the Halloween Parade will be held as scheduled this evening, stepping off from the American Legion at 6:30, coming along Harrison then onto Bridge Street where a reviewing stand will be set. The OEM team will discuss the circumstances under which it will be necessary to cancel trick-or-treating this Wednesday – and that information will be shared as soon as possible.

Finally, Mike Reino and Mike Roden from the Department of Public Works spent three days this past week collecting leaves on borough streets – and many residents took this as a sign to push new leaves into the street yesterday and today. PLEASE DO NOT PUT LEAVES TO THE CURB UNTIL AFTER THE STORM. The leaves flow into the drainage pipes and clog them and lead to worse flooding. The borough will incur additional costs in labor and machine leasing to clear the drains. The DPW will try to come through town again tomorrow to pick up what’s there. Please don’t add anything new. Your cooperation will help.

Stay safe… and see you tonight at the parade.