Lake Como Mayor Praises Belmar's Doherty for Storm Cooperation
Ryan calls for a lake commission to be formed between Lake Como, Belmar and Spring Lake to purchase water pumps for flood control
Thanks to Belmar Mayor Matt Doherty, the lake that shares its name with the Borough of Lake Como did not overflow its banks.
As a result, properties and residents in both towns were spared from flooding and the impact of such damage according to Mayor Michael Ryan.
In the days before Hurricane Irene struck New Jersey's coast last month, Doherty took the lead in lowering water levels in both Silver Lake and the body of water known as Lake Como by providing two extra-efficient pumps, Ryan said at Tuesday night's council meeting.
The pumps, belonging to the Borough of Belmar, withdrew about 3,000 gallons of water per minute from each lake through eight-inch pipes and transferred it back to the Atlantic Ocean, the mayor explained.
With water levels lowered, the lakes were able to receive heavy rainfall coming from the storm without eventually overflowing onto land and streets, he added.
"Once [Belmar public works] got Silver Lake pumped out, they brought another pump here for Lake Como," Ryan said.
The pumping was done before the hurricane hit and after it passed. For safety reasons, the pumps are not run during storms, he noted.
The Borough of Belmar is picking up the $12,000 tab to pump out the two lakes which separate the two municipalities, Ryan said. Lake Como— that is, the body of water— also borders the Borough of Spring Lake.
"I'd like to thank Mayor Doherty and the [Belmar] council over there for coming out and providing us the pumps," Ryan said.
Going forward, Ryan would like to work with leaders in both Belmar and Spring Lake to form a joint lake commission to help maintain the lakes by purchasing water pumps and other equipment to be shared.
Water pumps such as that used by Belmar workers, cost about $150,000 each, Ryan said.
"This is a good example of why we need a lake commission," he said.
If the three boroughs formed a commission, they could pool their resources to purchase the pumps via application for federal or state grants.
In the meantime, the three towns need to keep an eye on the lakes, which have been known to flood during intense rainfall.
"We'd just like to find a more permanent solution," Ryan said.