Five Twenty feet high, and rising…
News 12 New Jersey reports that in some areas, they’re expecting record flooding, even higher than Hurricane Floyd’s storm surge. The Pompton River at Pompton Plains is looking at 23′ 4″; the Raritan River at Bound Brook is expected to reach FORTY FEET by tonight. They’re already at 28 feet.
Around the Nightfly/Bingley area, things aren’t as bad. We lost power briefly but have it back now – he doesn’t as of about an hour ago, but he texts that he’s safe and dry. But there are trees and tree limbs and power lines lying around everywhere. I walked the Official Dog about 11:30 and the neighborhood is rather a mess. We’re in a higher-up spot so there’s no flooding here, but the lower-lying areas nearby are swamped.
The latest reports are that the evacuation of the Shore towns was successful. There was a lot of damage out there. Spring Lake lost most of its boardwalk, and there’s flooding and downed trees everywhere. A part of Route 36 developed a sinkhole and collapsed. Ocean and Monmouth’s coastline was badly flooded. Route 9 is entirely closed in northern Monmouth, and there’s no driving in Manalapan. Freehold got a little over 11 inches of rain and secions of it are entirely underwater. So far, two people are reported killed in the storm – one woman drowned in her car in a flash flood in Salem County, and a firefighter has died after being injured atempting a rescue in Princeton. About 600,000 people are without power in the state.
The general feeling is that we got off a litle easily, mostly because for once everyone handled things like adults. Our Standard Operating Procedure is more like Lord of the Flies + Fran Drescher’s voice. Governor Christie was on a press conference from the Trenton area just about noon, praising the evacuation and general preparedness, and cautioning that there’s still danger from the rising flood waters.
He had some fun with the assembled media during the questions – apparently his “Get the hell off the beach” warning, while heeded, nettled a couple of folks who asked him about his attitude. “Well, that’s just so you can cut and paste that bit into your stories,” he quipped. “It’s F-4 on the keyboard, right?” Then, he said that he was going to survey a lot of the damage via helicopter. “No baseball games scheduled, though. That’s F-5.” He then added, “We have some folks from Iowa and New Hampshire with us to help assess the damages – so there’s that.”