Irene: One Year Later
How did the 2011 storm impacted you? Share your photos and your feedback.
Irene ripped trees from their roots; filled streets, cars and homes to the brim with water; and led to emergency responders evacuating nearly 50 homeowners. Families huddled together with candle lights, spending days without power. It was the worst storm in a decade.
After Irene blew through New Jersey in August 2011, Patch was there to cover the hurricane that had been downgraded to a tropical storm. I spent my birthday documenting the devastation, living out of my car and working in Mac Murphys. Residents took me in (thanks Lisa Ertle) and even fed me. In turn, I paid it forward, offering food and water to those in need in addition to keeping the public informed with my reporting.
The impact of the storm and subsequent flooding is still evident in Ridgewood.
Some residents in the flood plain lost tens of thousands of dollars fixing their homes after Irene.
Irene impacted Ridgewood High School by flooding its football field, creating large camel humps and ripping the new turf to the tune of over $100,000 worth of repairs. A large sewer line off Saddle River Road was destroyed in the flood, another expense in the hundreds of thousands of dollars.
In the aftermath of Irene, a Bergen County Flood Advisory Committee was established by former Freeholder John Driscoll to look at flooding on a County-wide scale and establish a unified voice in fighting for State and Federal aid.
Locally, the village is embarking on a watershed protection program to clear the Ho-Ho-Kus Brook and Saddle River of debris that has accumulated in the last decade. Still, money is tight and it's unclear how much work can be done before the bank account runs dry.
One year later, we want to know: Does the storm continue to impact you? What changes did you make in and around your home? Did it cause you to become more involved in local government?
Add photos of your neighborhood from the storm, and photos today so we can see how far Ridgewood has come since the worst storm since Floyd hit.
Leave your comment below, and share your stories and photos about how Irene impacted you and your family.