SCOTCH PLAINS - Several Union County towns are cleaning up after major flooding left residents underwater. Heavy rainstorms brought several inches of rain to the county within a matter of several minutes.
All lanes of Route 22 in Scotch Plains were reopened by Thursday afternoon after emergency repairs. The deluge of water caused a 75-foot section of the eastbound lanes to buckle.
David Masucci, who lives on Byrd Avenue in Scotch Plains, says that he hadn't seen flooding like that in nearly 20 years.
"In '99, Hurricane Floyd flooded the street. This by far was a lot worse," he says.
Other neighbors agree. "I couldn't see out the window," says John Panosh. "It was like a snowstorm, but it was rain."
The waterline against some of the homes shows the water was at least 8 inches deep in some areas. Residents say the force of the water knocked over some fences and caused other damage.
Eshref Basha, station manager at the Lukoil Gas Station along Route 22 in Scotch Plains says that he's never seen so much water. The flood badly damaged the gas station pumps, which had to be repaired Thursday afternoon.
"This is the first time. I've ever seen this before," he says. "I can't believe it."
Trees and debris were knocked down in a park that sits right next to the highway as well.
Several drivers had to be rescued from their vehicles after they became stuck in the water along Route 22. According to Scotch Plains police, at least 10 cars had to be abandoned and then removed from the waters.