Garwacke on Manville: ‘We are an island’; Jet-skiing the Ironbound; Passaic County cities severely flooded; tree narrowly misses Lesniak’s house

No man is an island, said John Donne, but Manville is an island right now.

In the aftermath of last night’s storm, the former factory town is cut off, according to Borough Administrator Gary Garwacke. Manville was one town of many inland burghs affected by the storm.

In Passaic County, Paterson and Passaic City both got hit, Paterson probably harder, according to the mayors of those two towns.

“We flooded like crazy all over,” said Paterson Mayor Jeffrey Jones. “This is not a typical situation by any means.”

Jones said the fire department has deployed boats as part of the city’s rescue operations.

To his knowledge, the Silk City suffered no casualties.

In Passaic, Mayor Alex Blanco also reported no injuries, but said boat rescue is underway at the 6th Street Housing Complex. 

In Newark, parts of the East and South wards were clobbered. Large sections of the Ironbound are now submerged.

In Central Jersey, in Manville, “It’s rising very rapidly,” Garwacke told PolitickerNJ.com, referring to the water.

“All of our roads that ordinarily close in this kind of emergency are closed and we have a boat rescue operation under way.”

The only access point to the Somerset County borough is by foot via Route 206 through Hillsborough, he said.

In Somerville, just up the road from Manville, residents crept out of their homes here in the aftermath of the storm and saw two or three blocks on the east side of Main Street submerged.

The home of state Sen. Ray Lesniak, (D-20), Elizabeth, just avoided getting destroyed, as a large tree in the senator’s lawn uprooted and crashed to earth.  

“The storm came closer than Fajardo,” Lesniak cracked, a reference to his local nemeis, former School Board member Rafael Fajardo.

Assemblyman Albert Coutinho, (D-29), Newark, reported substantial localized flooding in the Ironbound.

“We have heavy flooding in the southern, eastern and northen tip – there was significant flooding through most of it,” said Coutinho, who took a photograph of a man jet-skiing in the east ward neighborhood.

On the orders of Gov. Chris Christie, both Atlantic and Cape May counties evacuated prior to the storm.

“We are actually in good shape,” state Sen. Jim Whelan, (D-2), Atlantic City, told PolitickerNJ.com.  “We’re waiting for the reopening of the islands. We didn’t get the impact we thought we were going to get. We came through. We would like to see the evacuation lifted for Atlantc County and Cape May County.” 

Whelan rode out the storm in Philadelphia and returned to his hometown of Atlantic City this morning.

In Westfield, Assemblyman Jon Bramnick, (R-21), reported massive tree damage.  

Garwacke on Manville: ‘We are an island’; Jet-skiing the Ironbound; Passaic County cities severely flooded; tree narrowly misses Lesniak’s house