Preliminary Report: Brick Flooding Not Caused By Parkway Work

Photo courtesy Brick Township Police Department

BRICK – While investigations are still ongoing, the preliminary report provided to county officials by County Engineer John Ernst is that the reconfiguration of Garden State Parkway Exit 91 is not the cause of flooding in the Herbertsville section of Brick.

The county will continue to work with the township as well as the Turnpike Authority, which oversees the Parkway, to determine any factors that caused the devastating flooding in Greenbriar I and other parts of Brick.

Extensive flooding occurred in nearby Ramtown, a section of Howell Township in Monmouth County.

The area had anywhere from 5-8 inches of rain dumped on it in just a few hours Monday morning. The area normally gets that amount over the span of a month or two, not hours.

Photo courtesy Brick Township Police Department

Ernst said he and Sheriff Michael Mastronardy surveyed the damage Monday afternoon.

“We were riding around and looking at the limits of the flooding and determining where the flooding was, so we could see it first hand,” Ernst said. He has since reviewed the mapping for the plans on file for the Exit 91 project and other construction projects Burrsville Road and other Parkway projects. “We’re looking at all of those plans to see what they’re going to show us and where the topography is showing us, as well as looking at the aerial photography of the storm damage that was taken right after the rain had stopped, and identify where the limits of the flooding came to.”

The most severe flooding occurred by Burrsville Road, south of any Exit 91 work, Ernst said.

The investigation is ongoing. Ernst didn’t have a time frame when any evaluations would be finalized.

“Based on what I’m seeing, the preliminary indications are that the 91 improvements aren’t the root of the issue here,” Ernst said. The design of the project “was adequate,” but “we had a storm beyond what any design standard was designing for.”

Ernst said Toms River saw flooding from torrential rains just a month ago. Toms River Police sent out several warnings through Nixle about road flooding and power outages throughout town July 17. An after-assessment by Police Chief Mitch Little revealed 74 disabled vehicles, 18 flooding calls (although they stopped counting), three road closures, 36 tow trucks dispatched, and five police cars flooded.

Photo courtesy Brick Township Police Department

In Brick Aug. 13, more than 100 homes were flooded in Greenbriar I, Sutton Village and several other roads.

New Jersey’s 10th Legislative District members—Sen. Jim Holzapfel and Assbm. Greg McGuckin and Dave Wolfe (R-10)—have asked NJDOT to investigate the flooding.