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Red Bank’s annual Street Fair drew early-autumn skies plus an orchestra, lots of crafts makers, the Socialist Party, food vendors and a whole slew of home-improvement contractors to Broad and Monmouth streets Sunday.
Pedestrians fording floodwaters in downtown Red Bank during the storm of July 29, 1961. The view is north along Broad Street from the corner of Canal Street. Below, a teen dives off car into the water. (Photo courtesy of Dorn’s Classic Images)
By EVAN SOLTAS
Fifty years ago today, Red Bank was hit with the worst flood in borough history.
Over the course of several hours that Saturday morning and afternoon in 1961, 5.48 inches of rain fell, triggering the sort of flash flood that the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says occurs, on average, once every 100 to to 200 years in the area.
“My business is recession-proof,” says Doubletake owner Marci Kessler. (Click to enlarge)
As a handful of employees raced about earlier this month to set up for the next day’s opening of Doubletake Consignment Boutique in Red Bank, owner Marci Kessler appeared the embodiment of calm.
The racks were nearly bare of the high-end clothing and accessories expected to fill the store, located on Broad Street next door to Pizza Fusion. But Kessler, eating a salad at the cash register, was unflustered, and confident the shop would be fully stocked for its first customers.
“We’ve been doing it for 18 years,” she told redbankgreen.
Westbound traffic was diverted from West Front Street onto Broad Street Tuesday evening, above, jamming up downtown Red Bank. Below, eastbound vehicles lined up on Monmouth Street. (Click to enlarge)
Work to replace a busted utility pole on busy West Front Street may not be completed until midday Wednesday, meaning motorists could face another glacial morning crawl through Red Bank.
A shutdown of a portion of West Front to enable JCP&L crews to replace the pole, which shattered during the blizzard Sunday night, led to massive traffic jams Tuesday morning, with inbound traffic backed up onto the Route 35/Cooper Bridge to Middletown.
By the evening commute, a repeat appeared in the making.