Irene: One Year Later
How has the 2011 storm impacted you? Send us your photos and feedback.
Sunday marks the first anniversary of the storm that pulled trees from their roots, flooded streets and cars, decimated homes and businesses and left thousands without power.
After Irene blew through New Jersey in August 2011, Patch was there to cover the hurricane that had been downgraded to a tropical storm.
The impact of the storm and subsequent flooding is still evident in some areas of Union County. In Cranford - one of the most severely impacted towns in the county - 18 houses that were heavily damaged are being elevated to prevent flood waters from future storms from submerging the structures. Some residents are still in the process of rebuilding parts of their homes that were destroyed.
Behind the municipal building on Springfield Avenue, trailers continue to serve as a constant reminder of the devastating impact Irene had on the township, which was forced to evacuate it's town hall and police department due to rising flood waters. The lower level of the building remains vacant as township officials work through the process of rebuilding the basement of the long-standing structure.
The storm also impacted several schools in Cranford and neighboring towns. Brookside Place School in Cranford was forced to remain closed for six months while the flood-damaged building was repaired and renovated. In addition, the Cranford First Aid Squad Building remained closed for several months until the structure could be renovated due to flood damage.
In nearby Springfield, residents and community groups continue to clean up the areas of town that were impacted by Irene. In April, the town held a Clean Community Day to help clean the neighborhoods and open spaces in the areas that were hit hardest by the flooding that followed Hurricane Irene.
In Clark, which was chosen to host a Red Cross shelter during and after the storm, several residents recently graduated from the township's Community Response Training Program, aka CERT. These volunteers will be on hand in the event of an emergency situation such as the once caused by Hurricane Irene. many of the 2011 CERT graduates were involved in relief efforts following last year's storm.
In total, more than 2,000 homes in the Union County area and neighboring communities were impacted by the storm. The first floors of several hundred homes were ruined. There was more than $75 million in property damage throughout the Rahway River Watershed. Shortly after the flood waters receded, a Mayors Council on Rahway River Watershed Flood Control formed to tackle the issue of flood control from a regional standpoint. Many towns along the Rahway River are involved in these efforts along with county, state and federal agencies.
One year later, we're asking you: Does the storm continue to impact you? What changes did you make in and around your home? Did your business, or neighboring businesses survive the wind and flood damage?
Add photos of your neighborhood from the storm, and photos today so we can see how far we have come since the worst storm since 1985 hit the Jersey Shore.
Leave your comment below, and share your stories and photos about how Irene impacted you and your family.