Ocean County departments respond to unprecedented rain event

From the Ocean County Office of Emergency Management to the Ocean County Road Department to the Engineering Department, efforts by the County to assist Brick Township during torrential rains which created substantial flooding were swift and are ongoing today (Aug. 14).

“We have signed an emergency declaration which will help the area directly affected by the Aug. 13 storm,” said Ocean County Freeholder Director Gerry P. Little. “Ocean County is continuing to make every effort to assist Brick Township emergency response, law enforcement and emergency management as damage is assessed today.”

As the skies continued to pour down rain in areas of Brick Township on Aug. 13 causing substantial flooding in and around Greenbriar 1, Ocean County’s Office of Emergency Management, under the direction of Sheriff Michael G. Mastronardy, was activated to provide assistance.

“OEM dispatched members of the County’s Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) to help the Brick Township CERT team at the temporary evacuation shelter set up at the Greenbriar Clubhouse,” Mastronardy said. “In addition, we provided our County animal response team trailer to help shelter animals displaced by the flooding.”

Sheriff’s officers also were provided to assist local police with traffic control and public safety issues.

“I want to commend the local volunteer fire companies, the Brick Township Police Department and the Brick Township Office of Emergency Management for their exceptional response to this storm,” Mastronardy said.

“This was an unprecedented rainstorm that dropped more than eight inches of rain in some areas of Brick Township in a relatively short period of time.” said Ocean County Freeholder John P. Kelly, Director of Law and Public Safety. “It’s our job through the Office of Emergency Management and other County departments to help the public during weather events like this.”

As the waters recede, the Ocean County Road Department and Engineering Department are inspecting County roads, bridges and culverts in the area to make certain they were not damaged by the storm.

“Most of the County roads that had been closed on Aug. 13 due to the flooding have been reopened,” said Little, who serves as liaison to the Ocean County Road Department.

He added that in neighboring Lakewood Township, which also was affected by flooding from the storm, road department crews continue to work on South Clifton Avenue where an obstruction in a pipe resulted in breaks in the road asphalt.

“We closed that road during the storm and while it is reopened today we are working to make the needed repairs,” Little said.

Little said the Road Department also cleaned up an oil spill from a fuel tank on Burrsville Road in Brick Township. They are also repairing a partial road washout at Schoolhouse Road.

“Our Road Department and Engineering Department are inspecting the area in order to make certain these roadways are safe for our residents and the public,” Little said. “The coordinated effort and cleanup will continue throughout today to get things back to normal.”

Freeholder Deputy Director John C. Bartlett Jr. said it is imperative Ocean County agencies work with local authorities to assist residents directly affected by this storm.

“It’s my understanding the rain amounts on Aug. 13 exceeded what we received during Superstorm Sandy in October of 2012,” Bartlett said. “Working together we can best serve our residents.”

Mastronardy said the Office of Emergency Management reactivated the county’s emergency operating center today (Aug. 14) to continue to support Brick Township.

“We are also asking for input from any other municipalities in Ocean County that had any damages as a result of the storms, to include them in our preliminary damage assessment,” Mastronardy said. “This process is important to assist with any future financial assistance.”

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