April downpours make for a messy Monday commute

Cars stranded on the highway. Traffic in all directions at a standstill. Crews working to keep up and clear the drains. These were some of the scenes in Newark and Clifton Monday morning.

As of Monday morning, the Newark Fire Department’s Urban Water Rescue Unit had rescued about six people from flooded areas in the Ironbound district.

“They left because they can’t move the car,” said Ironbound resident Liz Gonzalez. “They took a picture and I think they called the insurance.”

Boats had to be used to pull stranded drivers from cars stuck in flooded areas in Cherry Hill, but there were no reported injuries.

“The weather is still nasty out there. You hear all your phones going off with the flood warnings. It looks like they’re going to last through at least midafternoon,” said Gov. Phil Murphy. “Some roads are closed, some are detoured. We’ve had some accidents up and down the state, a lot of localized flooding and many thousands without power because of the combination of rain and wind.”

As of midafternoon, more than 10,000 customers were without power, the majority in the territory served by JCP&L.

“It used to be utilities’ responsibility to provide continuous electric power. But with deregulation and division of utilities into multiple companies, it’s not the ratepayers job to maintain continuous electricity,” siad Wyckoff resident Timothy Buchman.

It’s another headache as people are still trying to recover from the nor’easters in March. Residents were testifying on the response of the state’s four electric companies.

“I’m frustrated by the politicians getting involved in trying to force utilities, each individual mayor claiming that their individual communities should take preference,” said Ramsey resident Allan Braggin.