Skip to content

A town square for an unsquare town

redbankgreen

Standing for the vitality of Red Bank, its community, and the fun we have together.

RED BANK: NEIGHBORS WADE TO CLEAR STORM DRAIN CLOG

South Street under water. Chuck McCarthy at work.(Photo by courtesy of Meghan Brown. Click to enlarge.)

By BRIAN DONOHUE

A flash flood worsened by clogged storm drains covered a Red Bank intersection in waist deep water Friday, leaving residents looking for answers, and a way to keep it from happening again.

According to the National Weather Service .98 inches of rain fell at the nearest monitoring station in Holmdel Friday evening amid a deluge that lasted little more than an hour. Borough Manager Jim Gant said the “incredible shot of heavy rain in a very short period of time” caused flooding and tree limb damage at several locations in town.

On South Street near the intersection with Madison, residents jumped into action to save their cars and other property from damage as the waters rose quickly.

A video taken by a family member shows South Street resident Chuck McCarthy standing thigh deep in the water while he furiously worked to clear debris from the storm drain in front of his house with a shovel.

 

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Red Bank Green (@redbankgreen)

 

McCarthy said he would clear the drain and get the water flowing only to have it repeatedly and quickly clog up again. McCarthy’s next door neighbor Meghan Brown said she joined him moments later in the water to help. They said no cars or property were permanently damaged. Barely.

“If we hadn’t come out it would have been so much worse,” said Meghan Brown.

South Street was resurfaced last year. Residents said as part of the project new storm drain grates with narrower openings were installed. But they said they seemed to catch more debris and clog more easily.

“I questioned them back then, I said, “It looks restricted,” McCarthy said, recalling his conversation with work crews who installed the new sewer grates. “It’s like putting a finer screen on a sink drain and that’s exactly what happened.”

Gant, as well as McCarthy and other neighbors, said the problem may have been worsened because many people had yard waste and brush on the street for the next pickup on June 20. Borough ordinances require yard waste to be placed at the curb no more than seven days before pickup and the storm hit within that window.  

The intersection sits in a low lying area prone to flooding. During a storm about a decade ago, the intersection trapped enough water to pick up two parked cars, depositing one in what is now McCarthy’s front yard.

Gant said borough workers were examining the line today to see if there were other blockages besides the one at street level that may have caused a backup.

“The Borough will be assessing this specific issue on Madison to see if a blockage exists further up the line since the flooding was significant,” Gant said in an email.  “It is my understanding that the water subsided quickly which indicates that the amount of rain in the short period of time played a major role.”

Meanwhile, McCarthy said he is asking the borough for storm drain grates with wider openings.

“I hate to even think around reliving that. That’s why getting the sewer grate fixed is really, really important,” he said.

It the borough doesn’t take action, he has other tools besides that shovel.

“I hope they’re going to do something about it,” he said. “But look, I am in construction. I have no issue going and manipulating that sewer if I have to.”

Do you value the news coverage provided by redbankgreen? Please become a financial supporter if you haven’t already. Click here to set your own level of monthly or annual contribution.

Remember: Nothing makes a Red Bank friend happier than to hear "I saw you on Red Bank Green!"
Partyline
SMALLS FOR MAYOR?
We at redbankgreen remain neutral in political affairs and never make endorsements. But we have to say Borough Clerk Laura Reinertsen’ ...
CRASH ON LEIGHTON
The driver of this car was headed north on Leighton Avenue when they it hit an SUV pulling a work trailer headed in south in the opposing la ...
CAR VS STREET SIGN
The driver of this Mercedes hopped the curb and toppled the street sign at the corner of South Pearl and Drs. James Parker Boulevard Wednesd ...
SKETCHES OF RED BANK BY LOCAL ARTIST MICHAEL WHITE
Sketches of Red Bank scenes have been floating around on social media and we thought they deserved some spotlight. First appearing in our fe ...
POLE DOWN
Utility pole falls on English Plaza shop Forge after being struck by SUV shortly before noon. No injuries reported, though 86-year-old drive ...
YO, ADRIAN!
It’s a tough turn for our hero as Rocky Balboa is relegated to the curb for trash pickup on Locust Avenue. We’ll have to go back ...
“EL PALOMO” IS IN THE HOUSE
Jesus Rios, a mariachi singer who performs under the stage name “El Palomo” (The dove) pauses for a moment before entering a bac ...
CROC SPOTTED IN RIVER
Frighteningly hideous and green, a solitary Croc lurked ominously amid the flotsam and foam in the Navesink River alongside the Red Bank Fir ...
KISS ICON REFLECTS ON BROADWALK
A Swarovski crystal-bedazzled self-portrait painting of Paul Stanley, longtime singer and guitarist for the rock band Kiss peers out from a ...
CHISELIN’ AWAY
Marcelo Garcia Lopez works with hammer and chisel on a new feature for his flower garden on Shrewsbury Avenue: a hollow in a carved log in w ...
STORM CLEANUP CONTINUES
  Saturday’s storm sent a tree toppling on this house on Bank Street, damaging the roof. Workers Wednesday could be seen removing ...
SNAPPING IN THE BREEZE
RED BANK: Blustery winds had the flags in Riverside Gardens Park snapping Monday evening.
POWER LINE DOWN
Red Bank firefighters were on scene at Manor Drive dealing with a live power line Monday afternoon. There was no immediate report of fire. T ...
TAR BEACH SOLSTICE
Aldo Quiroz of Ocean Township came ready with his beach chair and found a shady spot to spend his lunch hour in a parking lot off Broad Stre ...
GOING GREY
Workers painting the stone facade of the PNC Bank at the corner of Broad and Harding Thursday morning. An upgrade? Maybe it’s just pri ...
COFFEE & WILDLIFE
RED BANK: The best wildlife show in town can be taken in from a waterfront bench outside the public library, and it's totally free.
FAWNING OVER HER BABY
A mother deer and her fawn were spotted between a row of garages on Hudson Avenue and some trees alongside the Broad Street parking lots. Re ...
EVENING ESCAPE
RED BANK: Sailors in Monmouth Boat Club's weekly racing series found tranquil conditions on the Navesink River Tuesday evening.
PEAK COLOR ON BROAD
RED BANK: A year after they were installed, downtown mini gardens have added to "transformational" improvements, says business owner.
RED BANK: FAIRIES MOVE IN ON WHITE STREET
Red Bank: Girl scouts turns tiny parking lot plot of dirt into a "magical girls sparkle garden."