Verona residents fed up with constant flooding from major storms

Many New Jersey residents whose homes were flooded by the remnants of Ida say that it wasn’t the first time that flooding damaged their homes.

News 12 Staff

Sep 7, 2021, 10:52 PM

Updated 955 days ago

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Many New Jersey residents whose homes were flooded by the remnants of Ida say that it wasn’t the first time that flooding damaged their homes.
Climatologists are predicting that storms will become more frequent in the future, leaving many who are still clearing up asking if they should consider moving to higher ground.
“I can't handle the trauma with the weather and the climate change. I expect that we're going to get more floods sooner rather than later. And it's too much for one person of almost 82 to handle,” says Verona resident Francine Rethschler.
The storm caused major flooding on the Peckman River, causing damage along Linden Avenue in Verona.
Verona resident Lisa says that she had 4 feet of water on the ground floor of her split-level home. It was the third flood in 22 years of living there.
“We lost everything. My son lost all his memorabilia. I lost all his baby stuff. Everything’s gone,” she says.
The flow of the river basically split in two, destroying Patricia Santiago's family's two cars but somehow sparing their home which abuts the river. She says she is now worried about the future with bigger storms and more frequent storms in recent years wearing away the river's banks. She's seen her property washing away and she worries that trees, their roots now exposed by the erosion, might fall on her house in a future storm. She says she can't cut them because it's an environmentally protected waterway.
“I can do nothing. But nobody takes care of the river,” Santiago says.
Other neighbors who have seen flooding from Hurricane Floyd in 1999, a large storm three years ago, and now Ida. Many says they are simply going to try and sell their homes.
Rentschlerk, who has lived in her house for more than 60 years says that she can’t take too much more.
“I cannot handle this again,” she says.
Verona residents, like all residents of Essex County, have found themselves outside the federally declared disaster zone that might make them eligible for more forms of federal assistance.


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