Wayne residents: Flood zone demolition causing homes to shake

Posted: Updated:

Some Wayne Township residents say demolition in the town’s flood zone is causing damage to their homes.

Peter Colilla tells News 12 New Jersey that he was making a late-night dinner at his daughter’s home on Lillian Court Sunday night when the cabinet fell right off the wall.

“I opened up the cabinet door -- the whole thing came down on top of me,” Colilla says. “All of the China."

The cabinet cut Colilla’s face and left a mess of smashed plates. Colilla says that he blames demolition happening nearby. He says that it shakes the house and never seems to stop.

"It's like an aftershock from an earthquake. It was constant. Continuous,” he says.

Select homes in Wayne’s flood zone were bought out in a buyback program and were demolished. Wayne was given a $2 million grant from FEMA to complete the project. The program started after Hurricane Irene flooded the nearby Packanack Brook, Ramapo and Pequannock rivers.

The demolition near Colilla’s home is complete, but more homes are scheduled to be demolished in the future. Colilla says that he is concerned about what could happen next.

“This could happen again to someone else,” he says.

Colilla says he is planning to have an inspection of the house to check the foundation and framework. He says that he hopes that the township will reimburse his family for the damages.

News 12 New Jersey reached out to Wayne Township officials for comment, but did not hear back.

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