Drenching rain causes flooding in Mercer Co., New Jersey

August 27, 2012 2:46:42 PM PDT
Drenching rains fell in parts of the region Monday. In one New Jersey town, a combination of low-lying areas and clogged storm drains was a recipe for disaster.

Dramatic video showed 22-year-old Steve Quarenta's 1996 Chrysler Sebring dead in the water after flash flooding at the intersection of Bow Hill and Elizabeth Avenues in Hamilton rose to the windows of his car, stopping it in its tracks.

Steve talked to Action News but didn't want the camera on his face.

"All the other people there were driving right through it, so my car I guess sits a little bit lower and I got stuck," he said.

"Just too much rain way too fast," said sewerage plant chief Fritz Rasweiler. "The storm drain system just couldn't handle it."

Police responded and blocked off the street while township crews cleared out storm sewers.

Steve Quarenta's wasn't the only car claimed by flooding. Several vehicles parked near the corner were also swamped.

"I was upstairs watching TV, and by the time I got dressed and came down all 3 cars were flooded already," said Jose Campos.

"His car's shot," said Joe Carroll, pointing out several flooded cars. "The white one here, too. And this is flooded but it's running. He was up to his center console in this one here."

Residents say flooding is a consistent problem here at Bow Hill and Elizabeth. The intersection sits low and when it rains hard the water pools here.

Charlie Rocco lives on the corner and says the pipes underground can't handle the amount of water big rains bring. His intersection flooded TWICE Monday as storms moved through.

"As soon as it slows down it goes down fast," said Rocco. "I've had it up to here, that fire hydrant."

Steve Quarenta says he's "had it up to here". As a flatbed truck prepared to cart away his leaking car, he no doubt wishes he'd stayed away from this swamp of an intersection.

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