NJ cleans up, braces for more rain Monday

August 15, 2011 4:25:59 AM PDT
Heavy rains soaked New Jersey on Sunday, spurring minor to moderate flooding in many areas and causing travel delays for drivers and airline passengers.

The Pascack Brook in Hillsdale is known to swell during constant rainfall, and that's what happened Sunday. It flooded parking lots and some of the roads there.

But it was not just Hillsdale where a lot of water was causing a lot of problems.

Sunday's deluge drenched homes and businesses across the Garden State.

In Bergen County, rains flooded roads and parking lots. In Hoboken, rain and high tide backed up the drainage system and forced water into the street. It's a problem people in the area say they deal with during severe storms.

"This is terrible," one resident said. "But this is normal for this place. We need boats out here."

Authorities had to close some streets due to severe flooding, forcing drivers to find creative solutions. Some people put up sand bags to protect their property, but others couldn't keep the rain out.

"We live here, and the elevator was flooded through, and the parking garage was flooding," one man said.

Many people are resigned to their soggy fate for another day.

"I did have rain boots, but I found out they had a hole in them," one woman said. "And my feet got wet anyway. So my feet will be wet regardless."

Officials continue to keep a close eye on the Pascack Brook.

At least two counties in southern New Jersey - Salem and Cumberland counties - declared states of emergency.

Most areas had seen 1 to 4 inches of rain by early Sunday night. But about 11 inches had fallen in the Salem County town of Pittsgrove, and several Gloucester County communities had received 6 to 7 inches.

In Bridgeton, Cumberland County, emergency management officials urged residents living along parts of the Cohansey River to evacuate their homes and head to a Red Cross shelter.

Other communities also reported that bodies of water, such as Assunpink Lake in Trenton and the Millstone River in Somerset County, had flooded.

Several major roadways were closed at times on Sunday due to flooding, causing headaches for drivers but no major problems.

Meanwhile, delays of up to 90 minutes were being reported for arriving flights at Newark Liberty Airport.

(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)