Howell to sue Wall Township over ‘defective detention basin’ that allegedly flooded homes

HOWELL, NJ — Bob Salomon lost his entire first floor on Aug. 14, 2018 when stormwater ran through his house like a river. Video shows the sewers overflowing. Neighbors on Pine Needle Street and Cherry Lane saw catastrophic damage.

“It’s been a nightmare,” said Salomon.

Since then, a Howell Township attorney filed a tort claim against Wall Township.

“The flooding and damage to property is the direct result of Wall [Township] permitting the design and construction of a defective detention basin,” said attorney Joseph Clark.

Howell engineers raised concerns as far back as 1998. They documented their alarm repeatedly by submitting it to the Wall Township planning board.

An engineer told the board “...there will be downstream impacts from an increase in runoff volume.”

Yet the Pine View Estates development wound up being built with greater building density than originally planned. And a change was made to the drainage system, decreasing a berm from 11-feet to 8.5.

“This whole neighborhood is in jeopardy,” said Salomon, who says he has pleaded with Wall and Howell to correct the issue before there is another flood. “The little guy is stuck with this.”

There have been at least four documented floods on Salomon’s street since the development was built, according to Howell’s attorney.

Salomon is out thousands of dollars for the repair of his home. He sent insurance claims to Howell and Wall; both were denied.

“You talk to Wall, they’re pointing fingers at Howell. Howell points fingers at Wall,” he said.

The Pine View Estates were annexed from Wall to Howell Township in 2005. But Howell says Wall remained responsible for construction inspection and approvals.

“I keep looking for help because at the end of the day, they hurt my family,” said Salomon. “Because they didn’t do what’s right. How about all the approvals that were done? Someone pushed them through or made a mistake. Guess what? They’ve got to go back and fix it.”

PIX11 reached out to Pine View Estates for comment.

Wall Township says they are taking this problem seriously and looking into the issue.

Howell’s attorney, Mr. Clark, added: “...the Township is not sitting back and doing nothing. Unfortunately it does take time to find a solution.”

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