SOUTH BRUNSWICK: Storm floods main roads

Three cars totaled by water

By Charles W. Kim and Jennifer Kohlhepp, Packet Media Group
It was more than just April showers Wednesday as more than five inches of rain fell throughout the region in less than 24 hours.
   ”It was worse than Hurricane Irene,” South Brunswick Police Lt. Jim Ryan said. “About four or five miles of roads were closed in the township.”
   Lt. Ryan said the rain started falling heavily around 3 p.m. Wednesday causing floods on Route 1, Route 522 and Deans Lane where the water collected to a height of about nine feet under the railroad overpass, covering a car stuck on the road.
   According to police, three vehicles were totaled after getting stuck in floodwaters, but the drivers made it out okay.
   ”There were no injuries or evacuations,” Lt. Ryan said. “When Route 1 is closed, it is always significant flooding.”
   Chief of Police Raymond Hayducka thanked the team effort with helping the community get through the difficult night.
   ”The officers, public works staff, and water and sewer employees pulled together to help residents and commuters deal with the significant flooding,” he said. “Shutting down a major roadway and dealing with widespread flooding is a challenge but our staff did a great job.”
   By 2 p.m. all roads were open, according to police.
   The situation was also bad in neighboring towns.
   Six roads in Cranbury Township were still closed as of 2 p.m. Thursday including sections of Dey Road, Petty Road, George Davidson Road, Ancil Davidson Road, Old trenton road and Old Cranbury Road.
   In Monroe Township, Federal Road to England Road, Monroe Boulevard and Helmetta Road were still closed as of Thursday afternoon.
   Princeton police rescued four dogs that were washed away from a Roper Road residence in floodwaters just before 7 p.m. Wednesday night.
   ”Patrols responded and were able to locate all four dogs near the home and return them safely to the owner,” said Sgt. Michael Cifelli.
   Five vehicles were abandoned in floodwaters in Princeton during the storm. Police had them towed away.
   ”No injuries or rescues were involved with those five,” Sgt. Cifelli said.
   Princeton University delayed opening Thursday until 10 a.m. due to closed roads that slowed traffic throughout the area.
   Numerous roads remained closed Thursday morning due to flooding, with West Windsor Township Police reminding motorists that roads would be reopened and cones would be removed as water recedes.
   West Windsor Police Lt. Robert Garofalo had this advice for motorists: “If you see cones, do not cross water-covered roads as you may endanger your life. Even if there are no cones, if you see water do not attempt to cross. Go back and use an alternate route. You life is more important.”
   There were extensive delays on North Post Road, Route 571, Route 27 and almost all major thoroughfares Thursday morning due to closed roads and flooding in Princeton and West Windsor.
   ”There are no good routes at this time as the water levels have not gone down yet,” Lt. Garofalo said. “Please use caution and exercise patience as everyone is stuck in slow traffic and everyone will be late.”
   In West Windsor, Washington (at the tennis center), Alexander (at the train station), and Southfield (at the township line) remained closed Thursday afternoon.
   Princeton River Road between Herrontown Road and the Montgomery border, and Quaker Road between Mercer and Nassau Park remained closed in Princeton through rush hour on Thursday.
   ”The roadways will remain closed through this evening’s rush hour and will be reassessed overnight, with the determination to be made as to when to reopen the roadway,” Sgt. Cifelli said. “We urge all motorists not to drive around barricades onto closed roadways, as the barricades are placed for everyone’s safety.”In Montgomery, County Route 601, Opossum Road and County Route 518 between County Route 601 and Route 206 remained closed Thursday due to flooding.
   In Plainsboro, Nostrand Road was still closed Thursday at the bridge near the West Windsor border.
   Quaker Road in Princeton was the first road police had to close around 3:30 p.m. Wednesday. Princeton police closed River Road between Blue Spring Road and Herrontown Road due to flooding around 5 p.m. Just before 9 p.m. Princeton closed Mercer Street between Hutchinson Road and Province Line Road and warned motorists of standing water on Route 206 southbound going out of town.
   West Windsor issued an advisory just after 5 p.m., warning motorists about rising water throughout town. At 6:47 p.m. the township closed South Lane between Village Road and Windsor Road due to flooding. Around 7 p.m. the township closed Washington Road between the railroad overpass along Route 64 and Manor Avenue and around 7:30 the township closed Canal Point Boulevard between Yorkbridge Drive and Carnegie Center Boulevard. Police closed Southfield between Fairway and Haverford just before 10 p.m.
   Montgomery Township also had to close roads due to high water. The township police blocked off River Road at Bridgeport and Dead Tree, Sunset at Fieldcrest and Route 601, and Route 601 at East Mountain Road. By 8:30 p.m. Route 605 at the Princeton border, Mill Pond and Opossum at Bridge, Mountainview at Bridge, the Griggstown Causeway, and Harlingen Road at Montgomery Park were closed.