Springfield residents request state’s help with Rahway River flooding

Some Union County residents say they are fed up with debris in the Rahway River causing flooding at their homes.
“Tonight is going to be another storm, all of us are taking turns to see how high the river is going to be,” says Maria Jimenez.
This is all Jimenez and her neighbors think about every time it rains. She lives in a constant state of fear that her house and her property will flood. She and other homeowners on Marion Avenue in Springfield are asking for help from the state.
The Rahway River is right in their backyards. Residents say every time it rains, their homes are flooded because the debris in the river doesn’t give the water anywhere to go but into their homes. In the 24 years Jimenez has lived in her home, she’s had at least three major floods.
“I lost my house 10 years ago, the water got to the first floor. Two years ago, it got to the first floor, too, and two days ago it got to the basement,” Jimenez says.
Township employees cleaned up nine dumpsters worth of debris from the river ahead of Friday night’s storm. Deputy Mayor Harris Laufer says this is a temporary solution.
Though the township and the county stepped in for the cleanup, they say this isn’t solely a local government responsibility.
“It’s a multiagency and multilevel of government project. We want to try and get this problem solved and we want to create a protocol and a program so we don’t have to worry about this because this is a really big problem area and the residents deserve better and we want to give them better,” Laufer says.
For now, Jimenez and her neighbors are bracing themselves for what’s to come. They say they hope the temporary fix will at least keep their homes dry.
“We are the ones to suffer more in Springfield because we’re near the river and we need a solution. We need the state to come and do something,” she says.