Nor’easter causes partial collapse of Demarest Dam, causing flooding

A nor’easter this week brought heavy rain to parts of New Jersey. It came just weeks after remnants of Ida brought devastating floods to the state.
For some in Bergen County, the nor’easter brought more damage. A brook that overflowed may be to blame for damage in multiple towns.
A cinderblock wall in Demarest was badly damaged in the Ida flood. But residents say that the nor’easter brought on another two feet of flooding.
The storm also caused a partial collapse of a dam in town. The dam keeps out water from the Cresskill Brook. The collapse impacted parts of Alpine, Cresskill and Demarest.
“The Demarest Dam partially collapsed yesterday. Luckily, nobody was hurt,” said State Police Superintendent Col. Patrick Callahan. “The dam contains about a 2-3-acre body of water. No evacuations or road closures were caused from it.”
Residents say that areas around the dam are not kept clean.
New land development nearby could also be the reason for flooding at Cresskill High School. The school will be on remote learning until maybe next year.
Holy Angels High School also saw damage from Ida.
Abraham Djebiyan, who lives on Academy Lane in Demarest, says that officials with the state Department of Environmental Protection came out on Wednesday, just like after Ida. But he says that he still doesn’t understand what caused the damage and why.
"This thing it keeps happening, and obviously no one is going to step in and stop it,” he says. “Everything is neglected, and we have rivers, we have small streams coming, drainage pipes. Nobody's holding anybody responsible.”
State officials say that they are gathering more information on exactly what happened in the town.