Somerset County News

Bernardsville Man Who Perished in 1973 Flood Among Those Honored By Green Brook Flood Commission Service

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GREEN BROOK, NJ - The Green Brook Flood Control Commission (GBFCC) will hold their Annual Memorial Service at 9:30 a.m., at Miller Park, 111 Greenbrook Road, Green Brook on Saturday, August 5.  Miller Park is located behind the Green Brook Municipal Building.  Due to ongoing flood project construction in Middlesex Borough, the ceremony has been moved this year to the Green Brook location.

All are invited to remember the six residents who lost their lives August 3, 1973, during the flood event that sent torrents of rain off of the first ridge of the Watchung Mountains, turning the streets of North Plainfield and surrounding towns into streams, as well as the two lives lost during Hurricane Floyd.

Those who lost their lives forty-four years ago include William Clark (age 57, Plainfield), Stephen Langhorne (age 15, North Plainfield), Richard Sciaretta (age 32, Bernardsville), Jerry Spinner (age 45, Warren), Keith Stewart (age 21, Warren), andHarry Timmens (age 30, Plainfield).

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The ceremony will also remember Mary Tharp (age 85) and her son John Tharp (age 58), who lost their lives September 17, 1999, during the Downtown flooding in Bound Brook, caused by Hurricane Floyd.

Former North Plainfield Mayor Frank McArdle and Legislative Chairman of the Commission will lead the ceremony.  He will also remember former Commission members and Elected Officials who advocated for the Project, including Founding Chairman Vernon Noble and his wife Shirley (Green Brook), former Vice-Chairman Marty Matuskiewicz (Middlesex), former Vice-Chairman Larry Newcombe (Scotch Plains), former Treasurer Frank Meeks (Plainfield), Middlesex County Freeholder Director David Crabiel, Senator Frank Lautenburg, and Assemblyman and Congressman Bob Franks.

The Annual Memorial serves as a re-commitment to ensuring continued Federal, State, and local funding of the project throughout the entire Green Brook sub-Basin, from Bound Brook to South Plainfield and Scotch Plains to the east and Watchung and Berkeley Heights to the north. In addition to the significant annual State and County investment, the Project is scheduled to receive $20 million in Federal funding this coming year, which is double the prior year’s allocation.  The U S Army Corp of Engineers has indicated that they have the capacity of utilizing up to $30 million in funding, if additional funds become available.

The GBFCC serves as the liaison for residents and local government agencies with the U S Army Corps of Engineers, which manages the project.  The GBFCC has representatives from twelve member municipalities and the Counties of Middlesex, Somerset and Union.  For more information, visit the Commission’s website at www.gbfcc.org.

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