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Communities begin cleanup process while warily watching Raritan River for flooding

Flooding concerns along the Raritan River remained Friday evening, while homeowners in the nearby communities begin the cleanup process from the flooding Ida caused.

News 12 Staff

Sep 3, 2021, 10:09 AM

Updated 957 days ago

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Flooding concerns along the Raritan River remained Friday evening, while homeowners in the nearby communities begin the cleanup process from the flooding Ida caused.
Manville was not only impacted by major flooding conditions, but at least three building explosions – two homes and a catering hall.
Most of the community was out on Friday discarding damaged possessions and cleaning up.
Nancy Smith says that the water gushed into her home so quickly, that the first floor became saturated.
“In minutes, it was already in the house. It was coming in from all sections, it wasn’t even coming through the doors,” she says. “All of a sudden we just see water appear.”
Smith says that her family lost countless appliances and furniture when 17 inches of water breached her home – and she is far from alone.
“It was horrible. It was like a catastrophe like hell is coming down here,” says that co-owner of the Dunkin Donuts on South Main Street.
LIVE UPDATES: Tracking Ida
The shop opened just five days before the storm. Now the owners are cleaning up and anticipating a second opening.
Salon owner Mary Tabbit had to clear out water-damaged chairs and supplies and wash down the floors of her shop.
We had about close to a foot of water,” she says. “We’ve never had any water in our salon. We’ve been here 18 years and people who’ve been here before us have never seen water this high.”
In Manville's Lost Valley neighborhood, where flooding was so bad in years past that there are fields of grass where houses once stood, a government buyout was offered to some homeowners to clear properties that were at high risk. But those who still live in the area have found themselves with more flood damage and damaged possessions that must be thrown away.
“This is some of the worst structural damage we have seen in Manville. Behind me the foundation of this home is simply washed out,” says resident Evelyn Armstrong.
Armstrong says that she often wonders when flooding of this magnitude will happen again.
“This originally was a 100-year flood plain. We’re lucky if we get through three years,” she says.
Many residents in the area seem to agree with Armstrong’s thoughts, as flooding occurs more often in the area.


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