Posts Tagged ‘Flooding in Ocean Grove’

Temporary berms being constructed at South Beach, Ocean Grove. Jan. 21, 2016. Paul Goldfinger photo ©

Temporary berms being constructed at South Beach, Ocean Grove. Jan. 21, 2016. Paul Goldfinger photo © taken from the pier looking south.  Click to enlarge.

By Paul Goldfinger, Editor @Blogfinger.net

Thursday, January 21, 2016.

This morning , several pieces of heavy equipment were working at the South Beach to create temporary sand berms which would help resist the flooding that is expected on January 23, especially during high tides and big waves.

The south side of Ocean Grove has chronic problems with flooding, and this situation has continued even though an extensive project was completed in the recent past to ameliorate that situation.

The homeowners on Broadway remain vulnerable to storm damage, and the Township has promised to do more work in that area such as constructing more catch basins on Beach Avenue.

Not only is Broadway at risk, but there have been increasing flood issues involving Beach, Webb and Abbott Avenues.  Evidently, the storm drainage system is inadequate when high water volumes come roaring down Main Avenue, converging at Central.

Fletcher Lake rises during such storms, and the Township will probably respond soon by lowering the Lake water level.

This storm will provide a big risk of flooding off the ocean due to the full moon, winds and high tides. That happened during Sandy and Irene.   Hopefully the berms will help blunt that effect.

The residents of lower Broadway are preparing to park off the streets in the lot by the boardwalk so that effective plowing can occur.

We have been told that several homeowners over there are trying to sell their properties. It is a demoralizing and expensive situation for some of them who have recurrent flooding.

JACK WOOD  with the Salt Lake City Jazz Orchestra.  From the Fantasticks.

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Water flows through large pipes onto Main Avenue at the site of Mary's Place construction.  Blogfinger photos © May 9, 2015 ©

Water flows through large pipes onto Main Avenue at the site of Mary’s Place construction. Blogfinger photos © May 9, 2015 ©

A huge blue pump brings the water out of the elevator shaft seen to the right.

A huge blue pump brings the water out of the elevator shaft seen to the right.

The pumped water flow into a sewer drain at Beach Ave. and Broadway.

The pumped water flows into a sewer drain at Beach Ave. and Broadway.  Is it OK to pump that water into the sewers?  Evidently it is—where else would it go?

By Paul Goldfinger, Editor @Blogfinger Saturday, May 9, 2015.

About a week ago, the construction of the Mary’s Place foundation was halted due to water filling the depths of the elevator shaft at the site of the building being built on the second beach block of Main Avenue in Ocean Grove, New Jersey. Pumps were brought in, but they were not sufficient, so a large pump with large pipes was implemented several days ago.

When we went by today, the water was flowing slowly onto Main Avenue and then south on Beach Ave.  At Embury Ave. there was a small lake, and then the river continued to the corner of Beach and Broadway, where the water flowed into the storm drain for its final destination in Fletcher Lake.

Mary’s Place, a single family house on a double lot, is destined to become “a place; a respite, for women with cancer to heal their minds, bodies and souls.”* It received zoning approval under the heading of “community residence or shelter.” If you use our search engine above, you can read the posts on Blogfinger about this controversial project.

Evidently, the deep digging for the shaft hit the water table resulting in flooding. The Gannon Company, who is the contractor, has poured cement in an effort to water-proof the area involved. Meanwhile, there has been damage to a neighbors patio which abuts the building from the Heck Avenue side.   The neighbors are, of course, concerned, especially since the pumping continues despite the remedial work. With the pump running, the flood area appears dry.

This is not the first time a situation like this has occurred in the Grove. The water table was penetrated when the Youth Temple was built. That problem was resolved by the contractor, and our sources tell us that the Gannon Co. is confident that this will also be solved.

Of course, an incident like this causes many Grovers to wonder how an underground garage at the North End could be built when this Gannon project has hit water during construction of something a lot less ambitious. The North End underground garage is still scheduled to be part of the NERP, and the NEW NERP concept plan shows the garage to be quite an extensive structure. So far, no engineering report has been offered regarding that project, so, at this point, it is all speculative.


* Source: Mary’s Place web site.

HARRY NILSSON.   Does it flood in New York City?

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Broadway, just west of Pilgrim.  9/6/14  5:45 pm.  by Paul Weinstein

Broadway, just west of Pilgrim Pathway. 9/6/14.   5:45 pm. “The Flea Market Day Flood.”     Photo by Paul Weinstein


By Paul Goldfinger, Editor @Blogfinger

Here is a link to our last article on this subject.

August 23 BF article about Broadway flooding

Since then, the Township has been “working internally” by having the Engineering Department try to figure out how torrential rainstorms result in flooding. They are studying elevations and maps. They want to get “boots on the ground” during the next large rain to witness the flow of surface water. They hope to get a “better understanding of how the water behaves during a high volume storm.” There are some mysteries such as why, during the last big rain, there was flooding west of Beach Ave., but not east of it;  and to find out how water flows from Ocean Avenue west onto Broadway

Vito Gadaleta, the Neptune Township Administrator, is the “liaison” who is coordinating a “team effort” which comprises Engineering, Public Works, the Township Committee, the Broadway Neighborhood Flood Committee and the HOA. He says that no outside engineering consultations will be necessary.

The engineers want to come up with a plan to “detain or redirect” the rapidly flowing surface water (which tends to travel from the northwest part of town to the southeast)  in order to give the existing storm drainage system a chance to handle the occasional high flow situations. One idea would be to create “drop basins” at intersections to “capture the water.” Another idea was for residents to park along the grassy middle area if they know of a storm. Hubert Yang of OG suggested this on BF recently. Gadaleta doubted that citizens  would be ticketed in such a circumstance.  Trying to divert more water from Ocean Avenue into Fletcher Lake is another idea.

He noted that the storm on August 13 was a “five hundred year storm” where 5 inches came down over four hours in the Grove. He said that such a storm was “unheard of and unanticipated.”

Part of the assessment is to conduct a survey of the area using a questionnaire which is being distributed by the Neighbors’ Group and the HOA. The purpose of that is to find out which properties are impacted by flooding and whether they have sump pumps.   He noted that there have been areas west of Beach and Central which have had problems, including Abbott Avenue.

Gadaleta promised that if a large rain is expected, the DPW will go to the flood zone to keep the drains (“inlets”) open, but he did suggest that the residents also try to help, even though they are “not responsible to do so.” (He says that it is like when residents shovel around hydrants when there is a snow storm.)

Once again he stated that there has always been flooding in the Township including areas that are not in Ocean Grove. The Township will do what it can to mitigate such situations, but a total Township flood cure is not possible.

A public meeting regarding the flooding situation will be held in the near future once “substantive” progress has been made in the quest for solutions in the Grove.

* All quotes are by Vito Gadaleta, the Township Administrator.


ALBERT HAMMOND–It seems it even pours in Southern California:





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By Charles Layton

Could the Broadway drainage project turn out a failure?

That’s what worried large numbers of Ocean Grovers at Monday night’s Township Committee meeting.

Although this $1 million construction project has plowed up large portions of Broadway, closed the street to traffic for much of the summer and brought noise, trash, dirt and anxiety to residents, many said that, after all that hassle, they doubted the project would fix their perennial flooding problem.

As one resident after another paraded to the microphone to question and complain, it became clear that a major factual disagreement existed between the Township officials and some of those residents.

Township officials contend that the main cause of the August 15 flash flood and a lesser but still significant flash flood on Monday was a partial blockage at Broadway and Central — a blockage that, once corrected, will no longer impede storm water flowing toward outlets at Fletcher Lake.

Some residents weren’t buying that story. They said the problem isn’t a temporary, rectifiable choke point at the Central Avenue intersection; rather, it’s that the entire recently-installed system of underground drainage pipes is too small to handle runoff from a normal summer rain.

Francis Paladino, who lives at 69½ Broadway and is chairman of the OG Sewerage Authority and a former president of the OG Home Owners Association, said that on Monday the water was 18 inches deep along his curb. He said from his own observation of the two recent floods he had concluded that the drainpipes newly installed along the length of Broadway were simply too small, and that this was why the street continued to flood.

“We’d better take a look and go back to the drawing board,” he told the Committee.

Allan Ellgren, who lives at 55 Broadway, told the Committee that he felt “the project is not going to work.” In fact, he said, since the Township began installing the new system, the flooding problem has grown worse.

“I wanted to sell my house. I took it off the market,” he said. “I can’t sell my house without telling the prospective buyer that there’s a flooding problem.”

Eric Tellefsen, owner of The Sea Spray, a B&B at Beach Avenue and Broadway, said “there’s probably five times the volume of water coming down Beach than has ever been seen before.” He said his and his wife’s downstairs living quarters had been flooded repeatedly this year and “we can no longer live there.”

Marilyn Laverty, who has resided on Broadway for nine years, said the recent flooding was “directly related to this project… We’ve had rains as heavy in the past, with less flooding.”

Leanne Hoffmann, Neptune’s director of engineering and planning, said the work at Beach Avenue “isn’t complete yet.” The solution to Tellefsen’s problem, she said, will be the addition of two more grates on Beach, which should be installed by the end of September.

Hoffmann and Township engineer Peter Avakian both said another major remaining task is to replace the old box culvert underneath Broadway at Central. This culvert unexpectedly collapsed on Tuesday of last week, and it was this, Avakian said, that had caused water to back up all down the street. It will take approximately two weeks before the contractor can begin replacing that compromised culvert, Hoffmann said.

Paladino maintained that these fixes won’t solve the problem. Although broken, the old box culvert was carrying all the water that flowed into it on Monday, he said, and in fact it was only “running about half full” because that was all the water the upstream pipes could deliver to it. He said he had personally witnessed this.

Even though Township officials predicted that things would soon be better, they did appear to be scaling back expectations of how well the new system will perform. Whereas Paladino, who has followed the project since its inception, maintained that its original goal “was to eliminate the flooding on Broadway,” Avakian said the system “won’t take all the water” that flows down Broadway. The project will only be able to handle “a two-, five-, ten-, up to a 25-year storm,” he said. Officials said both this week’s and last week’s rains qualified as 25-year storms.

(It is, in fact, possible to have two 25-year rainstorms in the space of a few days; technically, this term means that every year there is a 1-in-25 chance of one of those storms occurring. However, Paladino and Ellgren contended that the two recent cloudbursts were normal summer rains.)

One of the reasons more runoff seems to be pouring down to Broadway these days is that a previous outlet, which took water from Main Avenue beneath the boardwalk and into the ocean, has been eliminated. The water that used to take that route to the ocean now flows south from Main toward Broadway.

Several residents wondered whether the Township intended, once the project is completed, to restore Broadway from its current trashed-up condition to its former beauty as one of Ocean Grove’s showplace boulevards. Mayor Randy Bishop promised that this would be done.

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Wednesday, Aug. 15, Broadway and Pilgrim Pathway. Photo by Darrell Dufresne

By Charles Layton

The primary cause of last Wednesday’s unusually severe flooding, Neptune Township officials say, was the collapse, one day earlier, of an old culvert beneath the intersection of Broadway and Central Avenue.

That culvert carries storm runoff to an outlet at Fletcher Lake.

They say that the culvert – which is a one-foot by eight-foot box — became clogged with debris carried by the fast-running water. Eventually, workers managed to clear that debris, after which the water level on the flooded streets receded.

However, the collapsed culvert must now be repaired, which will take additional time and add to the cost of the Broadway drainage project, which has been plagued with unforeseen delays since late last year. The project — to replace an antiquated drainage system down the entire length of Broadway and then into Fletcher Lake — was already scheduled to cost just over $1 million.

Leanne Hoffman, Neptune’s director of Engineering and Planning, said in an interview on Monday that she was working with the contractor, James R. Ientile Inc., to arrive at a price for replacing the failed culvert. The Township Committee, which meets next Monday, will then need to authorize the work. She said it might then take the contractor four to six weeks to get the materials on site.

The work itself will involve digging up the Broadway-Central intersection, which will be another inconvenience to those living nearby. At present, the collapsed culvert is covered by large sheets of steel in the middle of the intersection.

The caved-in culvert at Broadway and Central. Photo by Charles Layton

The Broadway project has involved the laying of a new system of drains and underground pipes all the way from Lawrence Avenue eastward to Central Avenue. That system of pipes conducts water downhill to Central, then makes a right turn and runs underneath the tennis courts. At the playground beside Fletcher Lake, the system turns left and empties into the lake.

The original conduit to the lake is very old. The project includes the addition of a new conduit, running alongside it, consisting of twin pipes, which will carry 30 percent more water than the old conduit. The old and new conduits combined will therefore have a carrying capacity 130 percent greater than the old system alone.

Even so, Hoffman and Assistant Business Administrator Vito Gadaleta, who was also present during the interview, said they could not guarantee that the new system – once complete – will put an end to all flooding in the Broadway-Central area. Gadaleta said last week’s storm produced 1½ inches of rain in 30 minutes, “which is beyond a 25-year storm.”

“You really can’t design any system to handle that flow,” he said.

Hoffman said workers were forced to react quickly last week when they learned that a major rainstorm was on the way. Their task was complicated by the unexpected collapse of the culvert underneath Broadway.

Workers made a temporary connection between another box culvert, on the north side of Broadway, and the twin pipes of the new conduit system, Hoffman said. In doing so, they patched around a conflicting sewer pipe in a way that partially obstructed the flow of storm water coming into the box culvert – an arrangement some of the area’s residents have criticized. Hoffmann said that temporary connection will now be removed and a new arrangement made so as not to constrict the drainage pipe.

Another problem of concern to residents is the way debris carried by storm water tends to clog the street drains, particularly at the intersection of Beach and Broadway. Hoffman said an extra drainage system will be installed there, which should be of some help.

In short, the main tasks remaining are (1) to fix the culvert that collapsed, (2) to reconstruct the box culvert on the north side of Broadway near Central, (3) to provide additional drainage at Beach and Broadway, (4) to complete the work on curbs and handicapped sidewalk ramps all down the street and (5) to repave the entire length of Broadway.

All of this, said Gadaleta, will produce a system that is intended to handle a 25-year storm. However, said Hoffmann, “I can’t guarantee that it’s never going to flood there again.”

The time frame for the remaining work remains unclear, but Hoffmann said the Township is working under an end-of-the-year deadline, which it must meet in order to retain the DOT funds allocated to the project.

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Last week’s flash flood on Broadway was bad. But not unprecedented.

Municipal Clerk Richard Cuttrell found this newspaper photo on the Internet. It is from 1952 and shows people canoeing at the intersection of Broadway and Beach Avenue.

Since the eastern end of Broadway is the lowest-lying part of town, that’s where a huge proportion of Ocean Grove’s rain water flows. In fact, much of that area used to be part of Fletcher Lake.

— Charles Layton

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