Police: Dramatic rescue in Morris Township underscores need to stay inside for duration of Irene


Stranded motorists on Sussex Avenue were rescued from rising flood waters on Sunday morning by road crew employees who fetched them with a front end loader, said Morris Township Police Chief Dennis Reilly, who said the situation underscored the need to stay inside.

“People need to stay inside. It’s quite incredible that people are trying to go out in these conditions,” said the chief.

In at least one case, water was up to the car doors, said the chief. Further details about the rescue(s) were not immediately available.


As of 9:15 a.m., meanwhile, the Red Cross shelter at Morristown High School was up to 50 clients, from 10 on Saturday evening.

A power outage throughout Morristown has left the school on generator power that is running emergency lights in the hallways.  The roof is leaking in a couple of places in the building, though the auxiliary gym where people are staying only has a minor leak, said Red Cross volunteer Rosemarie Kulp.

“There are skylights in the gym, so it’s pretty bright,” she said. Police and emergency management personnel evacuated residents to the school overnight.

“Everybody is getting along. We’re waiting for some food to come,” Rosemarie said. The shelter does have bagels and cream cheese left over from Saturday. One important breakfast item is still missing: “There is no coffee. Everybody wants coffee in the morning.”

Things were going a little more smoothly at Mennen Arena, where some 400 evacuees from the Atlantic City area are being sheltered.

The Morris County facility in Morris Township still has full power and has not yet had to rely on its backup system, said Assistant Manager John Hiserodt.

The overnight went pretty well, John said. Everyone had breakfast this morning, too.

“The facilities are clean, and being used by everyone,” John said. “There’s a full staff from the Red Cross and they’re doing a great job. Everybody’s happy.”


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