Greenbriar residents survey damage; governor declares emergency

Residents of Greenbriar I work on the clean up of their homes that were effected by the flooding that occurred on Monday August 13th. (MARK R. SULLIVAN /THE OCEAN STAR)


BRICK TOWNSHIP – As residents of the Greenbriar I adult community returned to their homes Tuesday for the first time since the rainstorm on the previous day, they understood the full force of what had happened to their homes.

“There were tears, I just moved here June of 2017 and the house had been completely renovated,” said Audrey Zeltman, of Vaughn Court, a cul-de-sac off Markham Road where the worst of the flooding occurred. 

“This is just everything down the drain to me, with everything I have to do, thank God my children live close by. It’s a hard pill to swallow.” 

There was over 3 inches of water in her house causing the floorboards to pop and soaking the dry wall and insulation. The home needs to be gutted, she said. 

On Monday, first responders from Brick and neighboring towns used rescue boats to evacuate residents of the senior community from their flooded homes after torrential rains inundated the area. 

Tuesday afternoon, Mayor John Ducey and officials with the township’s Office of Emergency Management held a meeting with residents of Greenbriar I at the community’s clubhouse on Darley Circle, informing them inspectors were in the field to survey the damage and residents should document all damage to their homes and send it to their insurance company. 

Also on Tuesday, Gov. Phil Murphy declared a state of emergency in several counties, including Ocean, which experienced heavy rainfall Monday, causing severe flooding in many areas. 

“I am signing an executive order declaring a state of emergency for Bergen, Essex, Monmouth, Ocean, and Passaic counties,” Gov. Murphy said in a press release. “This will allow us to focus resources into the most impacted areas, as necessary. Our job as public officials, first and foremost, is to ensure that everyone is safe, especially since we may not be out of this weather pattern yet and more rain may still fall on already saturated ground.”

Residents of Greenbriar I pack into the Greenbriar I clubhouse to attend a meeting between the residents that were effected by the flooding that occurred on Monday August 13th with township officials on Tuesday August 14, 2018.

Despite the rough road ahead of them, the community coming together has been the silver lining. 

“The community has been wonderful, they stepped right in to get us out of here with the police, fire department and the [rescue] boats coming to take us out,” she said. 

Water rescue boats from the Brick Township Underwater Rescue Squad and Point Borough First Aid Squad 35 responded. Also responding were Laurelton Fire Company and Breton Woods Fire Co. No. 1 as well as first responders from Bay Head. 

For more on this story, read The Ocean Star—on newsstands Friday or online in our e-Edition.