Gov. Murphy meets with flood victims in Greenbriar I

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BRICK TOWNSHIP — Gov. Phil Murphy on Friday surveyed the damage caused by torrential rains earlier this week and spoke with residents who voiced frustration about a lack of aid from the state and federal government. 

“We’re doing everything we can, better days are ahead,” he told one resident while leaving a home on Markham Road. She told the governor that she lost everything in the flood on Monday, Aug. 13. 

It is estimated that around 8 inches of rain flooded nearly 105 homes on Markham Road and adjacent streets in Greenbriar I. First responders on the scene evacuated around 60 residents by boat.

Some residents, noting that many in the community lacked flood insurance, expressed unhappiness that no assistance has been provided by the Federal Emergency Management Agency [FEMA]. Gov. Murphy said the state is asking FEME to assist in the recovery effort.

“For FEMA you have to hit certain thresholds and we are working on that,” he said. “The more you can document and photograph [the better].”

Residents of Greenbriar I talk with New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy as he tours the flood damage at Greenbriar I community in Brick Township on Friday August 17, 2018.
Over 8 inches of rain was dumped on the area on Monday August 13 causing major flooding in homes within the community.
(MARK R. SULLIVAN /THE OCEAN STAR)

The governor stopped by two homes to witness the damage caused by three feet of water in the most affected areas of Markham, but other residents pleaded with him to see their own homes.

“Governor why won’t you come see my home, I lost everything,” Joseph Dvir shouted. “With the smell we can’t even stay in our homes.”

The governor asked where he was staying, and another resident answered.

“We are staying in the hotels governor and they have been raising the prices since Monday,” Angel Santos, a resident of Vaughan Court.

Gov. Murphy said, “I feel this is no easy answer, it breaks your darn heart.”  He thanked first responders and volunteers for the rescue and cleanup efforts. 

“There is a collective effort right now trying to figure our what happened and the one thing we can’t ignore is there was a tremendous amount of rain in a very short amount of time and unfortunately this are becoming more frequent events both in our state and in our country.”

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