Some Delran, NJ residents still displaced after January flooding

Beccah Hendrickson Image
Thursday, February 1, 2024
Some Delran, NJ residents still displaced after January flooding
Some Delran, NJ residents still displaced after January flooding

DELRAN TOWNSHIP, New Jersey (WPVI) -- Residents in Delran, New Jersey are still recovering from a January storm.

Some people were displaced after flooding forced officials to condemn their homes.

Delran Township held a meeting Wednesday night to address neighbors' concerns and tell them the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is now involved.

READ MORE: Residents clean up after flooding prompts voluntary evacuations in Delran, New Jersey

Officials say they made three rescues from homes in Delran Tuesday night and 50 homes in the township have been impacted by flooding.

The mayor says the neighborhood along River Drive, which backs up to the Rancocas Creek and Delaware River, has flooded about 10 times since 2011. January's storm, however, produced the worst damage.

"The Delaware River crested at 11.99 feet," said Mayor Gary Catrambone. "So this was really an unprecedented flood. Even Superstorm Sandy was not quite as bad as this last one."

Jodi Klein can attest to that. As she walks through her home on Alden Avenue, she's met with loose floorboards and broken tiles. The destruction is so great her house was condemned.

"There was actually water coming up through the floors," she said. Firefighters had to rescue her and her family on a boat during the storm.

Water in her backyard rose over two feet.

"This past Saturday I had a structural engineer inspection and I'm just waiting for that report to tell me if my structure is sound or not. I can't really do any repairs until I know that," she said.

Even if she can repair it, there's no guarantee flooding won't happen again.

"That's eroded," Catrambone said pointing out the shoreline. "It's probably half of its original depth."

Addressing the problem, however, is no simple task. The township says it's up to the Army Corps of Engineers to decide what needs to be done, which officials told frustrated residents at a town meeting Wednesday night.

"It's the federal government, it moves kind of slow," said Catrambone.

But while they wait, neighbors like Klein are left with unanswered questions, like will she ever be able to move back into her home?

"I never had an orange sticker saying I wasn't allowed in my home," she said.

The mayor said the next step for the Army Corps of Engineers is to do a study on this section of the river. He says that will take a least a year.