SCOTCH PLAINS, NJ — Emergency overnight crews worked frantically throughout Wednesday night into Thursday to get Route 22 into shape for the morning rush following Wedesday's devastating flash flood. Lanes remained closed Thursday morning.
The water damage was extensive in the north side of Scotch Plains, especially near Route 22, which was closed for much of the afternoon and evening on Wednesday. Several cars parked near the Weldon Quarry (just north of Scotch Plains on New Providence Road in Watchung) were destroyed when a wall collapsed. The Lukoil at Park Avenue and Route 22 East was hit particularly hard.
"We probably lost about 30 cars, both customer and personal vehicles. It doesn't take long or water to corrode the parts, and everything is computerized," explained Eshri Jairam, owner of the Lukoil gas station/service center. "Everyone will have to check with their insurance companies tomorrow."
Parts of Route 22 buckled, and mud had to be removed by dump trucks to lessen the possibility of having cars skid and get into accidents once the road opens to through traffic.