Flooding Recap in Stafford

By Victoria Ford | Oct 16, 2019
Photo by: Jack Reynolds

Stafford Township — While Long Beach Island may have seen the worst of it, last week’s tidal flooding took its toll on residential and commercial areas of Stafford Township, too. Stafford Mayor Greg Myhre confirmed there was flooding in the Beach Haven West, Mud City and Cedar Bonnet Island sections of town.

“Backbay flooding did occur Thursday through Saturday morning with the tides,” he said. “High tides were approximately 2 feet above normal. The Public Works Department worked diligently to block off flooded streets, and the police department had no reported rescues related to flooding.”

He continued, “With any emergency, the (municipal) departments stay in contact with me to make sure our staff are working to keep the public safe and to make sure all township personnel are operating safely and effectively. We continue to work on strategies to optimize emergency operations in order to ensure the highest standard of public safety.”

Linda and Jim Keller of Beach Haven West believe it had been about 10 years (not including 2012 during Superstorm Sandy) since they had seen two lagoons meet over land in their waterfront community.

“We just celebrated our 20th year as homeowners in Beach Haven West,” Linda said. “This being our second home, we knew how the nor’easter, full moon and October tides could be.”

After the damage they incurred from Sandy, she said, “we were concerned about rebuilding on the lot, although we loved our neighborhood and planned to retire here someday.” They did rebuild, by elevating the land and installing retaining walls in accordance with township code. “I must say it wasn’t cheap,” she said, “but I’m so glad we did. Although water came over the bulkhead and up our driveway (during last week’s tidal flooding), it never entered our home.”

On behalf of the Tide Table Group, restaurateur Melanie Magaziner said dealing with floodwater “is not ‘new,’ it’s just a nuisance we try to prepare for.”

She and her partners have businesses in two of the worst-affected spots, Beach Haven and Mud City. Black Whale and Bird & Betty’s were both closed due to the water event.

“It was too unsafe to drive through flooding,” she said. “Mud City (Crab House) and Old Causeway (Steak & Oyster House) stayed open. We have not seen water in Mud City’s lot since Sandy. This was halfway up the parking lot, but still manageable. Our home on Mallard (Island) hasn’t had this much water since Sandy. We have been there 20 years.”  —V.F.

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