SPARTA Depending on your perspective, Hurricane Irene was more destructive than reported or did not live up to the hype. Whatever your opinion is, Sparta Township suffered significant damage as a result of the 18-hour storm. Sparta Township Police had all sworn members on duty at some point during the storm. he Police Communications Center received 1,887 storm-related calls. The township had numerous road closures due to flooding and mud slides. More than 5,000 residents were left without power and no understanding from JCP&L when their power might be restored. Despite the hardships that a great many of the township residents endured, there were no reported injuries or deaths. By late Wednesday afternoon most of the closed roads had been reopened and JCP&L crews were in town working to re-establish electricity. If Irene’s punch seemed less than a K.O., it is because local citizens heeded the warnings to stay off the roadways and prepare for the impending storm. A great deal of the credit however, goes to the teamwork of the police and fire departments along with the Sparta Ambulance Squad and the Sparta Township Department of Public Works during the height of the storm, ensuring residents has access to emergency services if needed.