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VIDEO: Woodbridge Sandy Flood Victims Beg for Help

Residents of flood-prone areas of the township showed up at Tuesday's council meeting, pleading with elected officials for help months after Hurricane Sandy.


Months after Hurricane Sandy's storm surge inundated parts of Woodbridge and destroyed homes, the residents of those areas took matters into their own hands.

They converged on Tuesday night's council meeting and turned a reorganization session of the council into a Hurricane Sandy forum.

Heidelberg Avenue homeowner Monique Coleman led the charge with a prepared statement, asking for tax relief, home buyouts, and the creation of a flood advisory board made up of residents to tackle ways to alleviate flooding problems.

"I urge you to pursue meaningful efforts at long-term flood reduction," Coleman said, brandishing a petition with more than 50 signatures of homeowners in the flooded sections of Woodbridge. She would've had more people sign, but some of those homeowners can't live in their homes since they've been condemned.

Coleman said she had researched what other flood-prone towns have done to address their flooding issues, pointing to Pompton Lakes, which had successfully used a flood advisory board.

"They've worked with borough officials to find ways to alleviate and control flooding," she said. The Pompton Lakes group was visited by Gov. Chris Christie, who said he'd form a special state committee, including the Pompton Lakes mayor, to oversee flood relief efforts.

Both Sayreville and Old Bridge, which have experienced similar flooding problems, have drawn Christie's attention, Coleman said. "We're asking for the same level of concern and support from our elected officials as these other New Jersey towns have received," she said.

Newly elected council president Charles Kenny said he'd look into the flood advisory panel idea. Mayor John McCormac, who showed up at the reorganization, explained that the Army Corps of Engineers had completed studies showing that any major flood mitigation efforts in Woodbridge wouldn't be financially feasible.

But the damage from Sandy, he said, might have put Woodbridge over the top in finally get some federal flood relief help.

Other residents who took to the microphone were getting frustrated with the lack of any long term solutions to the flood problems. "I'm ready to move," said one resident. "Let them buy my house. I can't get any realtors to sell it."

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Tamara Winfrey January 10, 2013 at 09:57 PM
Does anyone else find it ironic that the two guys responding to the question are the ones most likely to float? Isn't that a conflict of interest?
John January 11, 2013 at 02:04 AM
Please advise how insulting two elected officlals benefits anybody. My neighbors are suffering from flood damage, and all you have is to throw fat jokes around? Why- because they did not give satisfactory answers? And you write for the Patch? How can you call yourself a journalist while posting comments like the above? Where is your objectivity, or civility? You should be ashamed of yourself...
Tamara Winfrey January 11, 2013 at 08:36 AM
Well, the ARE guys most likely to float away in a disaster are making flood decisions for the rest of the town. Woodbridge is starving to death under tyrannical taxes and in most cases regular, healthy citizens will not float. The floaters have condemned non-floaters and I think we deserve an explanation. Floaters have less of a stake in preventing floods because they're going to get out of it alive no matter what, and that means more money spent on golf courses and Me-Cormac getting more photo ops with "the common people." If they're going to screw Woodbridge residents we at least deserve to know the truth why, and not be patronized in these useless town meetings which only serve to bloat town officials into even more generous girths.
Joe Matheau January 15, 2013 at 03:36 PM
How is it responsible that the flood maps were never redrawn after the addition of the turnpike rest stop (for how many years?)? The fact that it was never done (until 2010) led many of us to buy our houses without knowing how flood prone our new homes actually were. Its disgusting.

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