LITTLE FALLS, NJ - On Monday evening, Gov. Phil Murphy and other officials toured a Little Falls neighborhood off Paterson Avenue near the Woodland Park border devastated by flash flooding that occurred on Aug. 12.
Led by Little Falls Mayor James Damiano and Woodland Park Mayor Keith Kazmark, Murphy, Assemblyman Kevin Rooney, Assemblyman Christopher DePhillips, and Sen. Kristin M. Corrado surveyed the Jackson Park area of town, meeting with residents whose home were affected.
The governor pledged his support to the residents and business owners of the area, noting that he would work to secure state and federal relief funding for the victims.
“We've got to get used to the fact we're in a new reality and we've got to do something about it. In the here and now, I promise the mayors and the legislators and members of council, and, most importantly, the members of this community, we're going to look at every available option,” Murphy said.
The Jackson Park area was just one that was affected by the flash flooding of the Peckman River when some five inches of rain fell in approximately one hour that day. The situation was exacerbated in the area by a pile up of multiple vehicles at the Route 46 Chrysler Jeep Dodge dealership that were swept with the current into the river and, ultimately, into the Rt. 46 highway bridge.
"My heart goes out to the residents and businesses effected by Saturday’s devastating flooding," Rooney added.
Little Falls has about 190 residences damaged by the flooding with 32 of those homes rendered uninhabitable, according to Damiano.
In Woodland Park, some 210 homes and 75 businesses sustained flood damage, according to Mayor Kazmark. He estimated that the flooding caused about $3.5 million in damage. Municipal facilities affected include the McBride Pump Station, the Boys & Girls Club/Senior Center, Dowling Park and Memorial Field.
Both Little Falls and Woodland Park declared a State of Emergency following the flooding. As county and state Offices of Emergency Management review the damage assessments, local officials wait to hear if the area will be declared a disaster by Gov. Murphy.