Sandy Update: 43 N.J. State Facilities Open, 7 Closed
In New Jersey’s state parks, the “worst damage” from fallen trees occurred across the central and northern parts of the state, said Bob Considine, a spokesman for the Department of Environmental Protection, which oversees the parks.
In the central part of the state, “wind got closer to the ground as it sped across the relatively open fields” and trees on the edges of these openings were “the most vulnerable,” Considine told NJ.com.
In northern Jersey, “the hills caught the wind and funneled it between them,” Considine said.
Although the tree task remains “vast,” Considine said, the parks and forestry division has “worked tirelessly” to open or partially open 43 state parks and forests.
Due to “safety concerns,” Considine said, seven locations remain closed — Allamuchy Mountain, Double Trouble, Hacklebarney, Island Beach State Park, Leonardo State Marina, Six-Mile Run Reservoir and Voorhees State Park.
Liberty State Park, partially reopened, “still has a lot of damage,” Considine said, adding that the restoration of Liberty and Island Beach state parks are “current priorities.”
The Newark Watershed Conservation and Development Corp., which owns five reservoirs in a 35,000-acre area straddling Morris, Sussex and Passaic counties, has “cleaned most trees that were blocking access roads” and is now “working diligently” on a “massive cleanup,” said executive director Linda Watkins-Brashear.
“The cleanup process will be lengthy and costly,” Watkins-Brashear said, noting the group is investigating outside funding sources with the watershed’s estimated costs already reaching $250,000 for the cleanup.