Monday, March 15, 2010

Floods and Storm Damage in NJ; State of Emergency is Declared by Governor

Above- uprooted tree crunches playground in the Nor'easter of March 2010; Bicentennial Park, East Brunswick, NJ

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie has declared a state of emergency while the state deals with flooding, downed trees and powerlines, and other storm damage from a powerful nor'easter that hit the state over the weekend and is still being felt today.

Here in my home town of East Brunswick we have been instructed to boil our drinking water until notified otherwise because of flooding that has occurred in water treatment plants. Eleven towns in all have been affected by this "boil your water" instruction.

As many as 24,000 East Brunswick residents lost power during the storm, some for as long as 12 hours. Service to most has been restored. During the height of the nor'easter on Saturday and into Sunday morning our lights flickered numerous times and there were power surges, but we were among the lucky ones. As many as 300,000 people may be without power in the tri-state area, and as many as 500,000 lost power at some point this weekend.

So far, we've had about seven inches of rain since Friday night, and its still raining lightly as I type this. The storm is expected to make a full exit by the early morning of March 16.

The town of Bound Brook, about six miles from here on the Raritan River, has been inundated by waters in the worst flooding since Hurricane Floyd in 1999.

See the video below, courtesy of 6SpeedVert on YouTube, of the flooding in Bound Brook.

Two people were killed in New Jersey by a falling tree in New Jersey on Saturday- and CNN has said that at least seven people have been killed by the storm in the affected areas.

Personally, this is the most damaging storm I have ever seen in this area. During hurricane season storms have hit Central New Jersey but have fallen apart once it hits the colder waters of the Atlantic offshore. Conventional wisdom was that hurricane force winds would lessen inland....but this storm defied that logic; we had measured gusts up to and exceeding 75 mph, as you would see in a Category One storm.

For more news and photos of the Nor'easter of March 2010 see and

Update 3:55PM March 15, 2010

The rain was letting up, and I took some photos of storm damage during a walk around the neighborhood. Since we are on high ground, there was no flooding, but dozens of trees snapped or were uprooted. We aren't out of the woods yet; there are many trees leaning that weren't doing so last week- a strong spring or summer thunderstorm could topple them.

Below, some neighborhood pics...

Remarkably, there appears to be little property damage to homes from falling trees, though its a real mess out there. One person has a mature evergreen leaning dangerously close to his house, tethered to a telephone pole (last photo above). About an hour ago a tree removal company cut the tree down before there was a worst case scenario.

The "boil water" mandate is still on locally, and it appears it will be in effect for the foreseeable future.


Advanced Restoration said...

How brutal. I hope that the poor residents of New Jersey can make a speedy recovery.

Douglas said...

That is terrible. I hope this doesn't happen again in New Jersey or in my hometown, Indiana. Water damage in the city or anywhere else should be fixed immediately to provide its residents clean, safe drinking water. Hopefully, there aren't any more casualties.

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