Helmetta, NJ in long recovery from Henri – “exhausting and tiring”


HELMETTA – Recovery efforts continue for residents of 73 homes damaged by flooding from Tropical Storm Henri.

The storm dumped around 8 inches of rain in several communities in central Jersey on Saturday night and Sunday, including Jamesburg, Cranbury and Helmetta, where Mayor Chris Slavicek helped residents get back on their feet.

“I think it sounds like a decade, but it’s really only been since Sunday,” Slavicek said at New Jersey 101.5. “The recovery is fully effective.”

The hard work of recovery

Governor Phil Murphy visits a flood damaged home in Helmetta (Governor Phil Murphy)

The community center has become a place where residents can get water, rest, and learn about resources available to help with repairs. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner are available for those who cannot return home.

“We have the support of the Red Cross in times of disaster. On Wednesday we have a resource center in our community center for our residents to talk to the Salvation Army, Catholic Charities is here, the Red Cross is here. We are very lucky and blessed to have volunteers, ”said Slavicek, who also credited his own staff, the Emergency Management Office and the mayor of neighboring Spotswood for their assistance.

“It is my responsibility, along with my team, to guide residents to the appropriate resources and support them. Not only is it taxing, tiring and financially burdensome, it is also emotional. People need to get back to life, to routines, to get back to work, ”Slavicek said.

Not the first flood

Multi-agency Red Cross resource center at Helmetta Community Center (Red Cross NJ)

For some residents of the affected neighborhood whose homes and cars have been damaged, this is the fourth time they’ve been flooded, but this time is the worst, according to Slavicek.

“I think of it as every household, every resident is affected in a different way. Some people have 3 or 4 feet of water in their homes. Other residents, it has affected their basements. Some residents are on a top quality land so they weren’t as affected “,

Slavicek said Helmetta’s motto is “small town with a big heart” and said the epitome of it had been shown since Sunday.

Wednesday at 11:30 am, these roads are still closed:

  • Franklin (Somerset) – Blackwells Mills Road between Canal Road and Millstone River Road
  • Franklin (Somerset) – Canal Road between Elm Street and Blackwells Mills Road
  • Franklin (Somerset) – Chemin Bellemead-Griggstown between Chemin River and Chemin Canal
    Township of Monroe – Spotswood-Englishtown Road to Mounts Mill Road
    Parsippany – New road between Old Bloomfield Avenue and route 280

Contact reporter Dan Alexander at [email protected] or via Twitter @DanAlexanderNJ

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