Keeping residents safe and informed

| 04 Jul 2019 | 10:53

On Sunday, June 30, Sussex County Community Emergency Response Training (CERT) volunteers were asked to assist Hopatcong CERT to alert lake residents to the danger of very high blue green algae levels, the highest the state has seen. Five CERT volunteers from Andover Township and two from Green Township assisted, along with members of the Hopatcong Fire Department. Many residents already knew that the lake was open exclusively for boating, but some were not aware and were grateful to receive the warning that rashes have been reported from exposure to the water, and that eating fish from the lake could cause severe illness. One resident thanked the volunteers profusely and offered them water as it was hot and volunteers had to trudge up hills and steps in the heat. Not everyone was feeling especially grateful, however. Four men fishing from boats, were told of the news and then made an obscen gesture, and indicated they would continue fishing. Some lakehouse renters from Bergen County decided to return home upon discovering they couldn't swim. Although most who heard the news were interested in knowing when the alert would be lifted, CERT volunteers informed residents that for now it's unknown when the blue green algae levels will return to a normal level. For more information about CERT or to volunteer, call 973-579-7382.