Congress approves $146M to help prevent flood damage from Peckman River
Relief is on the way for people who live along the Peckman River who have been dealing with flooding issues. Congress has approved the money needed to drive the water away from their homes.
Those who live along the river say that they are fearful every time it rains.
“Every time it rains, we’re a little nervous,” says Joe Celentano.
Celentano and his life live along Cedar Grove Road in Little Falls, just steps away from the river. When the river floods, the home is overtaken. It is common for the couple to have to evacuate or move their car to higher ground.
“This last one it was a flash flood. I looked out the window, it looked like it was drizzling. Twenty minutes later, my car was halfway submerged,” says Celentano.
A storm in August 2018 flooded a car lot along Route 46, sending cars downstream until they piled up at a bridge.
The Peckman River impacts three towns – Little Falls, Cedar Grove and Woodland Park.
Congress has now approved $146 million for the Army Corps of Engineers to make changes.
“We actually had residents break down crying. They truly didn’t think this day was ever going to come,” says Woodland Park Mayor Keith Kazmark.
Kazmark says that Ida wreaked havoc on his residents.
“We still have stores and businesses that are still closed all these months later,” says Kazmark. “Residents are still recuperating dealing with flood insurance and FEMA.”
The plan entails building levees and walls, along with a diversion culvert. This will move the water from the river under some athletic fields and over to the Passaic River.
The project could take five years to complete.