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Middlesex County heavily affected by Tropical Storm Henri; temporary shelters available for residents in need; governor surveys damage in Monroe

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Mayor Stephen Dalina assists residents of the Rossmoor community in Monroe who were impacted by Tropical Storm Henri on Aug. 22. A temporary shelter was set up at the Monroe Township Senior Center.PHOTO COURTESY OF MONROE TOWNSHIP
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Governor Murphy, State, County, and Local Officials tour Tropical Storm Henri damaged area in Monroe Township on Monday August 23rd, 2021(Edwin J. Torres/ NJ GovernorÕs Office).EDWIN J. TORRES, OFFICE OF THE GOVERNOR
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Governor Murphy, State, County, and Local Officials tour Tropical Storm Henri damaged area in Monroe Township on Monday August 23rd, 2021(Edwin J. Torres/ NJ GovernorÕs Office).
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Governor Murphy, State, County, and Local Officials tour Tropical Storm Henri damaged area in Monroe Township on Monday August 23rd, 2021(Edwin J. Torres/ NJ GovernorÕs Office).EDWIN J. TORRES, OFFICE OF THE GOVERNOR
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Monroe Township Construction and Code Department officials visit the Rossmoor community following Tropical Storm Henri. PHOTO COURTESY OF MONROE TOWNSHIP
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Mayor Stephen Dalina assists residents of the Rossmoor community in Monroe who were impacted by Tropical Storm Henri on Aug. 22. A temporary shelter was set up at the Monroe Township Senior Center.PHOTO COURTESY OF MONROE TOWNSHIP
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Governor Murphy, State, County, and Local Officials tour Tropical Storm Henri damaged area in Monroe Township on Monday August 23rd, 2021(Edwin J. Torres/ NJ GovernorÕs Office).EDWIN J. TORRES, OFFICE OF THE GOVERNOR
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Governor Murphy, State, County, and Local Officials tour Tropical Storm Henri damaged area in Monroe Township on Monday August 23rd, 2021(Edwin J. Torres/ NJ GovernorÕs Office).
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Governor Murphy, State, County, and Local Officials tour Tropical Storm Henri damaged area in Monroe Township on Monday August 23rd, 2021(Edwin J. Torres/ NJ GovernorÕs Office).EDWIN J. TORRES, OFFICE OF THE GOVERNOR
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Monroe Township Construction and Code Department officials visit the Rossmoor community following Tropical Storm Henri. PHOTO COURTESY OF MONROE TOWNSHIP

 

Following a deluge of nine inches of rain from Aug. 22-23, more than 100 households in Monroe sustained extensive flood damage, with 96 of them located within the Rossmoor adult living community.

Gov. Phil Murphy and Monroe Mayor Stephen Dalina toured the site on Aug. 23 and met with the victims of the remnants of Tropical Storm Henri. The governor arrived by 10 a.m., telling residents he declared a State of Emergency and will seek state and federal funding to help, according to information provided by the township.
“Gov. Murphy needed to understand that this flooding has occurred before and that these residents – many of whom are senior citizens on a fixed income – need help,” Dalina said in the statement. “That is why I hosted him to assess the damage firsthand. I appreciate that the governor agrees this is a difficult circumstance and that he has pledged to do all he can to help flooding victims.”
Monroe Township opened an emergency shelter at the Monroe Township Senior Center, 12 Halsey Reed Road, for those who have been flooded, without power, and anyone who needs assistance.
Ten residents from Rossmoor were being cared for at the Senior Center as of press time. Several were evacuated from their homes.
Murphy and Dalina drove through the Rossmoor neighborhood, including Newport Way and Oxford Lane, where they saw stranded cars and homes that had been flooded, according to the statement.
JCPL reported approximately 1,600 customers were without power, according to the statement.
Power restoration in Rossmoor could be delayed in the flooded areas because those homes need to be inspected by code officials and electricians, according to the statement. Monroe Township construction officials and JCPL were on the scene and will be in the coming days.

 

Dalina has taken other actions to assist impacted Monroe residents:

  • Township staff, led by the building and code department, have been working since Aug. 22 with JCP&L to restore power and air conditioning to as many affected residents as quickly as possible.
  • The Department of Public Works has begun clearing debris placed on the curb by flooded residents and will be doing this throughout the week. DPW cannot collect food trash or hazardous materials but can collect flood-damaged appliances.
  • The Monroe Township Library established a Community Donation Relief Fund where monetary donations and gift cards are being collected that will be equitably distributed to residents of Rossmoor and other locations in the township where people were impacted by the storm. Community members interested in donating cash, checks or gift cards for grocery stores, home improvement stores, etc., may either drop off or mail to the library, Attention: Friends of the Monroe Township Library, 4 Municipal Plaza. Residents impacted by the storm who need monetary assistance may contact the library at 732-521-5000.
  • Monroe Township Office of Emergency Management (OEM) is establishing a command center within the Rossmoor community. Affected residents are encouraged to provide their contact information with OEM at oem@monroetwppolice.org or leave a message at 732-521-0222, ext. 299 so OEM staff can contact them with the latest recovery information and resources.

“Monroe Township is a community that cares, and we are all in this together to help impacted residents,” Dalina said in the statement. “I’ve witnessed the kindness and compassion of this community and this recovery effort will be no different.”

 

In nearby parts of Middlesex County, a shelter was established at Spotswood High School, 105 Summerhill Road, for Helmetta residents affected by Henri.

Supplies such as food and water will be provided.

Any resident in need of assistance can visit the shelter.

Main Street from Maple Street to Helmetta Road is still closed in Helmetta.

Jamesburg reports that Forsgate Drive remains closed between Buckelew Avenue and Perrineville Road.

There are ongoing sink hole repairs near the intersection of Summerhill Road and Old Stage Road in East Brunswick.

In South Brunswick, several roads were impassible due to flooding, including Route 27 at the Princeton border, Culver Road between Drinking Brook and Deerfield Trail, and East New Road in the area of Sondek Park.

As of 4 p.m. Aug. 23, the westbound side of East New Road was still flooded.

Cranbury also experienced heavy flooding.

According to Somerset County Public Safety, gauge reports indicated flooding in much of Middlesex and Monmouth counties, with Lawrence Brook and Manalapan Brook in flood at this time.

Law enforcement reported several road closures remained from the flash flooding that occurred overnight Aug. 21.

For Lawrence Brook at Weston Mills, at 3:30 p.m. Aug. 22, the stage was 18.1 feet; flood stage is 18 feet.

For Manalapan Brook at Spotswood, at 3:15 p.m. Aug. 22, the stage was 20.02 feet; flood stage is 19 feet.

There is also a flood warning for the Raritan River at Bound Brook through at least Aug. 24. At 8:15 a.m. Aug. 23, the stage was at 28.3; flood stage is 28 feet. The river is expected to rise to a crest of 29.2 feet in the evening of Aug. 23, according to information provided by the New Brunswick Police Department. It will then fall below flood stage by the morning of Aug. 24, according to reports.

At 28 feet, backyards and low areas are protected by levees and the flood wall, according to the statement. Without the levees or if there is a breach in the levees, minor flooding will occur.

At 30 feet, Main Street is protected by flap valves/sluice gates. This level triggers the gate closures to protect Main Street, according to the statement.

This crest compares to a previous crest of 29.1 feet on March 31, 2010, according to the statement.

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