Heavy rain floods more homes in NJ; resident points to nearby development

HOWELL, N.J. -- Heavy rain this week caused more flooding in New Jersey, collapsing bridges and filling houses with water, and on Tuesday Gov. Phil Murphy declared a state of emergency in five counties in the state.

"I lost my whole freaking house," said Robert Salomon, a resident on Pine Needle Road in Howell.

His house is not in a flood zone, but on Monday a foot of water flowed through his first floor. His neighbors on Cherry Lane saw 3 feet of water fill their homes. The town estimates a dozen houses were flooded.

Salomon has lived in the neighborhood for almost two decades, but he said the flooding only started a few years ago when a new development, Pine View Estates, was built a block away. He said that's when rain water started lapping at his front door.

“Something with the basin wasn’t proper," Salomon said. "They described it like 100 pounds of water getting through, like, a straw. It doesn’t work."

Salomon said he has emails that date back several years in which he begged local officials to address the drainage issue.

“I told them this was going to happen because it came close," Salomon said. "I asked them please help me.”

PIX11 News has reached out to the builder of Pine View Estates for comment.

Monday's heavy rain also swamped two bridges in Howell. A crew is working to repair one on Lakewood Allenwood Road. A sinkhole in the Ramtown-Greenville Road bridge will take longer to fix.

"We’ve been speaking to the county engineer. They may have to have some scuba divers go in to see the underlining damage that's done, so we anticipate that will be much more extensive, several weeks," Howell Deputy Mayor Rob Nicastro said.