By Christie Duffy
The signs warn motorists — “flooding ahead, turn around, don’t drown” — good advice, here in Millstone, where water covered the roadways and held some residents hostage in their own homes.
They’ve seen flood waters rise around their house before. But today it nearly topped the ceiling of their backyard gazebo.
“It’s getting worse and worse. No choice. I got a mortgage to pay,” said a resident.
Nearby, water flowed past the Millstone Sport Shop — halfway up the front door. Around the corner, landscapers rushed to move equipment to higher ground.
Flooding also roads closed roads in Hillsborough. But some drivers took a chance and plowed through the mess.
Flooded roads caused chaos on Route 206. where traffic backed up into the intersections and through town.
One man waded waist deep through it all, trying to get to his fiancee in the next town.
The Raritan River caused headaches in Branchburg where it made a road look more like a reservoir.
Last night in Montgomery when the rain was still coming down, a driver learned the hard way why not to drive through flood water. His car got stuck, forcing him to climb out the sun roof to safety. But he’s not the only one.
Further south in Collingswood today, more cars stalled in what looks like a lake. One man lost his car to the nearly two feet of flooding, and he’s only one block from home.
“This is definitely higher than I thought it would ever get. My wife may think it’s getting a little close. It’s still a good couple of yards but it’s definitely closer than I ever thought it would be,” said Robrecht Van Der Wel.
Flood waters inundated a nearby park. Storm drains overflowed.
“This may be as bad as I’ve ever seen it on Park Drive South,” said another resident.
Unlike coastal storms like Sandy, torrential downpours impact people living along rivers and creeks where water creeps toward their doors.
Further north in the state, Hoboken saw damage from both storms. It floods regularly here when it rains. Last night, roads on the west side of the city were covered with water and closed.
Today, the shopkeepers came out to clean off their littered sidewalks. And street cleaners swept through the neighborhood.
In Newark, the waters have receded on Frelinghuysen Avenue to ankle deep. But it still cost some their cars. Multiple vehicles stalled and were destroyed too, casualties of the heavy rain.