Little Falls residents prepare to evacuate if Henri causes Peckman River to flood

As Henri heads toward New Jersey, residents in Passaic County are bracing for potential storm damage.

News 12 Staff

Aug 21, 2021, 2:11 AM

Updated 971 days ago

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As Henri heads toward New Jersey, residents in Passaic County are bracing for potential storm damage.
The storm is expected to produce heavy rain and storm surge. If there is a chance of flash flooding, it is at the Peckman River in Little Falls. The family that lives across the street from the river says that they are ready to evacuate if need be.
“Honestly, I have a bag packed and if I have to go, I just throw the dogs in the car and go to my mom’s. That’s what I usually do,” says Kim Celentano.
Celentano has lived across from the river for 16 years. She says that three years ago, her entire front yard flooded.
“We had an oil tank from the trucking company come down and took out a part of the fence. Neighbors lost cars,” she says.
One of Celentano’s neighbors remembers that day. The river filled quickly.
“The last big storm we had when we got flooded, we had six feet of water in the basement over here,” says Spiros Panos. “It was horrible. Everybody on this block was shoveling mud for about two weeks.”
This is potentially what could happen if Henri veers inland.
There is evidence all along the area near the Peckman River of past flooding. Several homeowners have raised their foundations and there are vacant lots where homes were torn down following years of flood damage.
There are also pump stations on nearly every block. The residents say that they are hoping that the current low water levels of the river keep them safe when the storm arrives.


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