BRICK-What caused the epic flooding of the Greenbriar I adult community in Brick Township during Monday’s rainfall? That’s the question right now on everyone’s mind.
Now, some in local government are blaming a state engineering blunder of epic proportions on the flooding earlier this week.
Such flooding has never been seen before in the community, which many are saying is Ocean County’s worst flood since Superstorm Sandy.
At this time, some residents in the community are blaming the never before seen level of flooding in Greenbriar on the state’s clearing of trees on the nearby Garden State Parkway.
County Freeholder Jack Kelly this week contested that notion, stating the new exit 91, built adjacent to Greenbriar had nothing to do with the historic level of flooding. Kelly said the county’s engineer had inspected the area and did not find the new interchange to be at fault.
That reassurance was not good enough for Republican state senators James Holzapfel and Gregory McGuckin.
“The flooding in Greenbriar is unlike anything previously experienced, including during Sandy,” Holzapfel said. “We’re concerned that the GSP Exit 91 reconfiguration has made the area susceptible to flooding. NJDOT needs to investigate & undertake any needed improvements.”
More than 100 homes in and around the Greenbriar I senior community were flooded during a torrential downpour on Monday, August 13th, forcing the evacuation of residents.
“It’s a little suspicious that Greenbriar can go five decades without this kind of flooding, including during Superstorm Sandy, but it’s suddenly underwater a year after the adjacent Exit 91 project was completed,” said Assemblyman David Wolfe. “We need to know if changes to the grading or drainage in the area led to this flooding, and we need a plan to prevent it from happening again.”
“Residents who lived through years of disruptive construction as Exit 91 was completed now live in fear that the next storm might flood them out of their homes again,” added McGuckin. “We need to determine if this was a freak event that’s unlikely to happen again, or if it’s a direct result of the engineering of the interchange. If there’s something we can fix, we need to find out, and we need to do it immediately.”
Aerial videos taken by the Brick Township police also suggest the runoff from the Garden State Parkway interchange was directed towards the flooded section of the development.