It’s perfect weather for talk of the Passaic River’s chronic flooding problems. Roads are fully passable, but the river sits on the verge of overflowing once again, with the water just barely below flood level, and the rain due to continue for a few more days.

Tonight, May 23, the Little Falls Town Council will convene to consider a resolution to initiate construction of flood gates on Beatties Dam, in an effort to reduce the risk of future flooding. According to a 1987 U. S. Army Corps of Engineers’ study, floodgates would reduce water levels by 8 feet. The resolution states that a letter has been sent to Governor Christie, U.S. Senators Lautenberg and Menendez, Congressman Pascrell, State Senator O’Toole and State Assemblymen Russo and Rumana asking for their support and action to have the gates installed. It was also sent to elected officials of neighboring Passaic River municipalities, asking that they join the effort.

Montclair State University professor, blogger and Little Falls resident Arnie Korotkin posted yesterday in his blog, The Gadfly, that earlier this year, Governor Christie’s Passaic River Basin Flood Advisory Commission recommended that the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection request an analysis of Beatties Dam by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. According to Korotkin, the goal was to determine federal interest in participating in a flood control project in the vicinity of Beatties Dam.

At long last, concrete steps are being taken to reduce the risk of flooding within the township. The possibility of constructing flood gates on Beatties Dam, as means of ameliorating the problem, is incrementally closer.

In the foreseeable future, with the support of all our elected officials and neighboring municipalities, flood gates on Beatties Dam will be a reality!

To read Korotkin’s post and see the actual resolution, click here.

Photos courtesy of Wheeler Antabanez. To watch a video of drought times at Beatties Dam, click here.

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