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New Jersey Residents Taking ‘Not Again’ Attitude About Storm

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CBS 11’s Jack Fink is in New Jersey to help our sister station WCBS-TV and CBSNewYork.com with coverage of Hurricane Sandy.

POMPTON LAKES, New Jersey (CBSDFW.COM) – The mood in Northern New Jersey is ‘not again.’

The whole area was under water during Tropical Storm Irene last year.  And now, people are worried that Hurricane Sandy will be worse.

Crews at the Pompton Dam opened the floodgates to lower the water level at the reservoir by five feet.  Engineers hope to protect dozens of communities along the Passaic River from flooding downstream.

“By doing that, we hope to create a small void that will allow some of the rainfall that’s predicted to be caught when the storm advances,” said David Rosenblatt with the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection.

Hurricane Sandy already drove out a car dealership on Hamburg Turnpike temporarily.  Workers moved off every car on the lot,  stacked all the furniture inside, and piled sandbags at the door before Sandy moves in.

The Pompton Dam is just across the street, and past flooding has made the owner nervous.  “I think the dam is doing more harm than good, because we’ve never had flooding like this,” said dealership owner Ray Maroon Jr.

Nearby, Jerry Demarsico enlisted friends to help him move out the furniture and anything else that can be ruined in a flood from the first floor of his Pompton Lakes house.  “I’m hoping it’s all for naught, but no sense taking a chance.”

Of course, shoppers flooded the supermarkets.  They filled carts with everything, except the one thing stores ran out of first. “I couldnt find water, that’s the first thing I noticed, it’s empty, the whole row is empty, everybody’s looking for it,” said Paterson, New Jersey resident Ana Vergara.  “It’s supposed to be bad, so you want to be prepared.”

Besides flooding, everyone is worried about widespread power outages.

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie warned if Sandy is really bad, the lights could be out for as long as 10 days.

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