Here’s why one Lakewood neighborhood has sandbags around their homes (PHOTOS)

If you live in the Southeast section of Lakewood, you may have noticed sandbags around some of the properties. Here’s why.

Ever since trees were taken down and areas cleared, Albert Avenue and Bellinger Street area residents have been dealing with severe flooding issues, and no apparent fix in sight.

In multiple letter to TLS, residents expressed frustration about the issue.

“After approximately 30 years of complaining about the drainage on Albert Avenue, it’s disheartening to see that still nothing has been done,” said one resident. “With all the new homes, schools etc going up, there is now nowhere for the water to go, but in the street. How long now till homes start flooding out.”

Another resident in 2017 wrote, “After calling and complaining and asking for something to be done for over 20+ years, Lakewood Public Works finally responded to the flooding problem on Albert Avenue. They put traffic cones up. That won’t really stop the flooding of the basement, or drain the water, or give it a place to go, or stop cars from braking down when they get soaked and stop running. But after 20+ years they did SOMETHING. Now if they could really just correct the problem, that would be great.”

In response, TLS has reached out to DPW Director Phil Roux.

The Director says the Department is aware of the issue, and has in fact placed sandbags along some of the properties as a temporary solution to prevent flooding.

The issue, says Roux, is that the water table is at its highest level in recent history, and there is no proper drainage in the area. To help with the drainage, says Roux, engineers have begun drilling tests as they seek to install a retention-type system underground. However, due to numerous water wells in the area, engineers have run into another issue – a 50-foot distancing requirement for wells. But the issue is being worked on.


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  1. I live on Albert and while this issue is ongoing I want to make it clear that we appreciate what the township does for us. The letter writer sounds disgusted how “nothing has been done”.
    I want to point out that we acknowledge the township has put in sidewalks, upgraded the street lighting and continues to show interest in our neighborhood.
    Yes, my property is flooded but I want to say I don’t feel abandoned.

    • maybe if the Builders were required to fix the problem, like is done in other towns. they could be made to install water and drainage…Why not?

  2. This is becoming a problem in many parts of town. This is the outcome of severe overbuilding without enforcing the proper safeguards. Developers are cutting corners at the expense of the whole town. Who will be paying for these engineers reports and the eventual remedies. It won’t be the developers, that’s for sure!

  3. There is no question about it that the excessive building of schools and homes In the area definitely Add to the lack of drainage in the area due to cutting down trees which drink the water from the ground among other things.

  4. So the residents were complaining for 20-30 years and now let’s blame the trees that were cut down in the last 5-10 years.
    How does it add up?

  5. The water table is at an extremely high level for the past 5 months throughout Lakewood. It does not seem to be going anywhere. There may or may not be a perched water table in this neighborhood.

    The Albert area has gone through major redevelopment within the past 10 years all while confining to R20 requirements.
    This neighborhood now brings in millions of dollars in tax revenue to Lakewood Township on a yearly basis.

    While we appreciate temporary solutions to major issues, we feel proportionately neglected.

    As a neighborhood we expect to receive proper storm water drainage from our Township.

    We in Albert – as one of the oldest neighborhoods on the south side of Lakewood – are requesting immediate relief from this major threat which does not seem to be receeding.

    In reference to what Mr. Roux commented regarding recharge system’s proximity issues, we want to be very clear that recharge systems are just an above ground visual fix, however does not accomplish a satisfactory drainage system which routes the storm water away from our neighborhood, rather a recharge system puts the water right back into the saturated ground.

    Dovid Gottlieb

  6. I am confused is it an old issue going on for 30 years or is it a new issue because of the new development. Can’t have it both ways to make the story look better

  7. If you notice much of the water isn’t coming from the “new development” built by the builders. While there’s probably a lot of other issues to blame on over-development, this issue has reportedly been going on from way earlier. Also, there hasn’t been much development done in that area, most of the houses were built by private homeowners who live there. When you clear that much land, the water needs to go somewhere……

  8. Fact;
    Many basements flooded in this neighborhood.
    Over 20 sump pumps are actively pumping out water 24/7 from old and new houses alike.
    Water table is rising
    Albert is one of the only residential neighborhoods in Lakewood without any storm water systems.

    Speculation as to what caused the issue is another conversation.

  9. We actually had a very rainy 2018. I believe many areas in NJ had more days of precipitation than dry days this year! Just wondering has anyone thought of planting Trees or shrubs? If you do some research maybe you can find what type of plants eat a lot of water maybe that can help…

  10. The issue is very simple it rains BH and that water needs to go somewhere. since there is no underground drainage system the water sits around and gathers, this has become worse with less and less trees to absorb the water through one of the natural ways. It all boils down to $$$$$ does the township want to take care of this problem?

    A better solution would be to install drainage as part of the MUA bringing city sewer and water to the area. This neighborhood is still living in the past, the benefits of city sewer and water, are many and don’t need to be elaborated on. although current owners would not benefit from it as they have invested in there current systems however new construction will gain, and current owners updating there system would benefit.

  11. I live on Marlin Ave I have complained to the township many times about flooding in front of my home every time it rains I now call my flooding situation Lake Erie. The water now runs down both sides of my front yard into my back yard flooding it also. Did i forget to mention I have lived in this area for 30 years.Also a severe situation on the corner of Marlin Ave. and Salem Ave SEVERE Ice condition caused by a house on the corner of Albert and Salem pumping out their basement for the last two months into the street causing water to drain down Salem past Marlin down to Coral ave we have a very dangerous situation here because it is a bus stop with a major ice problem the township is here every day plowing and salting this corner due to the ice .nothing is being done to fix this serious problem lets just keep salting and plowing and hope none of the children get hit by a car or bus trying to stop.

  12. @Tree Hugger: it’s been an issue for many years but its gone from a bad situation to an awful situation. Flooding is progressively getting worse and worse.

    I bought an SUV literally so I can navigate to my home with less risk of engine damage… If nothing changes, within a couple of years I’m probably going to have to drive around with a kayak on top of my car.

  13. We have outgrown our infrastructure. We need a moratorium on development to catch up with streets, sidewalks, drainage, street lights… and police. Every day we read of more accidents, violent crime, traffic jams, flooding. You cannot jam another 50,000 people into this already congested mess without proper planning and preparation. Our quality of life is disintegrating.

    • The quality of life of the ordinary citizens of Lakewood is definitely disintegrating due to poor or nonexistent planning. But the lives of the developers and those who issue variances and look away from infractions and otherwise allow this development to continue unabated, have improved!$$

  14. Yes, it’s all true I live in this neighborhood and that is a total disaster. And this is going on for years already with a TWP. doing next to nothing.

  15. Unfortunately as the climate changes this will become more and more common around town due to the higher water table. Basements will be submarines.

  16. it has nothing to do with buikding. it has to to with storm management systems that were never put in. in major cities they took of their issues in the 80s by installing underground storm rain sytem tunnels. they would treat the water and then put it back into the drinking water system. however, in nj most of our water co and sewer co are third party co. to dig and build such sytems are expensive .
    the townhsip should buy lots and make them detention basins. and put in curbs and catch basins leading to the detention basin

  17. I would like to give a shout out to the township manager Patrick as he is been wonderful in dealing with all these issues and he is currently working hard on the situation.

  18. There is way more to this than just trees being knocked down. It’s a result of old drainage systems not being properly cared for and then you add new buildings with more drainage and nowhere to go. I live on Joe Parker and the front of my home and entire driveway turns into a lake when it rains. I have contacted DPW who stayed they can do nothing!! I find that hard to believe, why not add a drainage in the street and give the water someplace to go so it’s not in my front yard!! The problem has gotten grafually worse in the 7yrs we have been in the home and it’s only a matter of time before the water seeps into the basement (which btw the circuit breakers are sitting directly in the area) and causes a short circuit or a fire!! It’s a problem that happens all around the town due to the drainage issue with old drains but it is not being addressed. Joe Parker is not an area that has alot of rebuilding going on yet it has areas that are getting flooded – I know my front yard is!!

  19. To @David Gottlieb, I am not an engineer but am very familiar with the concepts of stormwater management and I believe you are incorrect. A retention system, especially one underground, would indeed help the problem. A retention system is constructed at the naturally lowest elevation point, along with installation of storm drain inlets along the street to cause rainwater to flow away from the houses and into those storm drain inlets and bring it down into the underground system, which would be under an area of the street or other paved area. Underground retention systems are a series of pipes which hold and then allow the collected water to slowly infiltrate and seep deep into the earth, where all the rainwater even now eventually ends up anyway.

    • What you may be missing is the fact that we have two issues at hand.
      1) No where for the rain water to go.
      2) The water table rising drastically.

      On #1 you are correct (only if they are maintained).
      However due to the high water table, if the rain water will be recharged into the ground it will aggravate the issue. Additionally when you speak with your engineer you will find that when designing any retention basin or catch basin to be recharged they need to test the ground saturation to be sure the ground is permeable a specified depth under the stone.
      You are invited to come see first hand how our ground is not permeable anymore even at shallow depth.

  20. From the residents on Bellinger & Albert area, we publicly thank Patrick the town manger along with the Township committee who are working on this vital issue of our flooded basements and streets.
    The issue is only getting worse as it goes along, We all can count on our elected officials to solve these issues diligently & swiftly!
    Thank you & much appreciated

  21. The township is working on Bellinger first because of the homes draining water into the street. Many of us on other blocks chose to drain into the yard as a courtesy to everyone else and to avoid ice issues. Should we all be draining onto the street as well to get the township’s attention?

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