Streams

Threats Loom Anew for Flood-Damaged Areas in NJ, NY

Friday, September 09, 2011

Flooding caused by Hurricane Irene, the nearby Atlantic Ocean and the breaking of local dams on August 28, 2011 covers areas of Spring Lake, New Jersey. Flooding caused by Hurricane Irene near Spring Lake, New Jersey. (Michael Loccisano/Getty)

A week and a half after Tropical Storm Irene caused massive flooding in parts of New Jersey and New York, residents continue to repair damage, even as rain in the forecast has renewed flooding threats.

In towns along the Passaic River, in New Jersey, dump trucks have been driving up and down streets, carting away water-logged rugs and furniture.

"FEMA’s coming, but to get restoration people and all, they’re all busy, and they say they lost your name in the computer," said Susan Mortaro, a resident of Wayne, N.J. "This is the first day we’re getting somebody to come for cleanup.”

For some residents, the recent rain from Tropical Storm Lee has caused more trouble.

"They say that the rivers are going to crest on Saturday, so we're waiting. It's a waiting game at this point," said Marilyn Succar, whose home in Wayne, N.J., was flooded by a few feet of water, causing damages she estimated to be in the thousands of dollars.

Across New Jersey, some roads have been closed due to the flooding.

In New York, the Department of Environmental Conservation is reexamining what areas in the Marcellus shale are considered in the flood plain.

“The definition of flood plains, as we know them from our maps are antiquated," said Assembly Energy Committee Chair Kevin Cahill. “We need to re-map our flood plains.”

DEC spokeswoman Emily DeSantis said the DEC commissioner is participating in the Storm and Flood Recovery Task Force established by Governor Andrew Cuomo and that it “will look at how to address these issues including the flood plains."

The DEC wants to prohibit the controversial gas drilling technique known as fracking in areas susceptible to flooding for fear of water contamination.

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