Cresskill residents worried by flooding from storms after being battered by Ida last year

CRESSKILL, New Jersey (WABC) -- Storms rolled in fast and furious Thursday evening, creating damaging floods in towns like Cresskill, New Jersey, where residents are worried occurrences like this will continue to happen.

Heavy rain early Thursday evening sent the Cresskill Brook spilling into yards. It brought runoff, debris and what smelled like sewage into residential streets in Cresskill, which ponded on lawns.

But it didn't happen until after the downpours.

"It stopped raining, dry, and then all of the sudden, coming along and then it starts rising, rising, rising," Cresskill resident Carole Summer Henry said.

The brook is normally a shallow, clear stream, but on Thursday it became a muddy mess, bringing back scary memories of Ida last year for Henry.

"The water broke through the doorway and just came flooding in," she said.

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It didn't take much rain back in April of this year to cause severe flooding in nearby New Milford and Oradell, where people needed to be rescued.

Neighbors are wondering if this is the new normal.

"That's my biggest concern. It's a really scary situation," resident Maria Naula said.

Ida devastated this community, including Cresskill High School.

The Cresskill middle and high school complex suffered $20 million in flood damage after Ida last fall.

The damage is still being repaired and it's still not expected to fully reopen until this fall.

But what if this keeps happening this summer, or any time a heavy rainstorm barrels through?

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"I just want to know from the city, the state the county whoever's responsible that something's being done," Henry said.

After the flooding in April, Bergen County blamed the utility company Veolia Suez for not giving much of a heads up that flood water was coming.

As the water in Cresskill recedes Thursday night, the utility tells Eyewitness News, that the flooding is not related to the Oradell Reservoir but the result of fallen trees blocking waterways.

If that, and Thursday's rainstorm are all it takes for a creek to overflow, that's of no comfort to residents still dealing with the damage and bad memories of Ida.

"I'm terrified that it's going to happen again," Henry said.


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