Mayor Young Wants to Tackle Flooding Issues

Flooding issues near the Delaware River and Pompeston Creek have been a major township concern.


Mayor Ben Young said a goal of his for 2013 is to continue public works’ projects already started, namely tackling the major flooding issues in East Riverton near Kern Street and Zeisner Avenue.

“We’re trying to improve conditions,” said Young, who was appointed as Cinnaminson’s newest mayor at Monday’s reorganization meeting.

Young and public works’ officials think new sluice gates—slated for installation soon—should help alleviate flooding conditions.

Hundreds of households in the East Riverton section of the township are affected by flooding conditions—and it’s not just during major events like Hurricanes Irene and Sandy; it’s also during normal rainstorms.

By the end of this month, Young said, state engineers should visit the area to give input.

“I’ve been working solidly with the DEP (Department of Environmental Protection), DOT (Department of Transportation) and the Army Corps of Engineers for the last year,” Young said.

Public works is also looking into using some engineering money that’s been set aside for a pumping system, the mayor said.

There are a few other areas around town that experience major flooding—such as the areas of Jefferson and Calhoun streets behind Palmyra Moravian Church, and Cuthbert Road and Fairfax Drive near Extension Park.

“In today’s world,” Young admitted, “those properties would not be occupied.”

What Young means is that years ago, houses were built in certain areas with no regard to flooding problems.

“With the exemption of the Glenview section,” Young said, “the construction that occurred on Fairfax, those properties pre-existed the town really having any formal master plan or understanding of drainage.”

Unfortunately, Young said, there’s no real solution for the area.

But that doesn’t mean he won’t work hard to try to help some of the issues.

“Even the work I’m suggesting we try to do in the Zeisner area—,” he said, “I told people I can’t eliminate flooding but I can try to help alleviate those drainage problems.”

Officials from the Army Corps of Engineers are slated to visit Cinnaminson before the end of this month to clean the Riverside basin.

Stay with Patch for more on this.

john b January 10, 2013 at 11:29 AM
east riverton has been forgotten about because it should have never been made a priority of cinnaminson in the first place...EAST RIVERTON not EAST CINNAMINSON... maybe riverton should take care of their problems and not raise problems for cinnaminson...we shouldn't be held responsible for the section 8 section of cinnaminson which should never have been an area of cinnaminson
Ray Budden January 10, 2013 at 12:55 PM
The home behind the Hallmark is the other side of Calhoun and Jefferson. She had two of her vehicles damaged and took on water in her house.
Michele Murphy January 10, 2013 at 01:33 PM
My parents also live on Pompess and NEVER had a water problem until those new townhouses and condo were built. It is truely appaling that the residents that live in these areas have to deal with the clean up at time weekely. Something really needs to be done and someone should take responsibility.
Barb Rivera January 10, 2013 at 03:56 PM
Exactly what I am saying Maury. I have not reached out to the Mayor but have been through everyone else. Many townships have a repetitive loss in their floor ordinance. If we had this we would be able to get $30,000 from our flood insurance carrier to help towards raising our home. Without repetitive loss you have to have 1 flood that damages more than 50% of the value of your home. With repetitive loss it can be 2 floods within a certain amount of time. We had a MAJOR flood April 2011... Over $50,000 in damages. Flood insurance pays approx 65% we are stuck with the rest. Plus we had to live elsewhere and flood does not pay a cent for that. Well by mid July we finished with repairs. Then Aug 27th came Hurricane Irene, here we go again...$57,000 in damages. Hotel living, dogs in kennels..etc We have lost so much $$... There were many floods prior but I am just using 2011 as a example. Other towns also reverse the values of their real estate taxes. They put majority of the value on the land and the lesser amount on the home. Therefore it's easy to reach that amount of $$ in 1 loss. All the township does it put out cones and barricades...so far that has been their solution. There are a few newer homes in my area..approx 6 yrs old, well their entire yard floods. The builder should of NEVER been allowed to build here. It's a HUGE mess!
Ric January 10, 2013 at 04:09 PM
Those people who are dealing with the constant flooding have my sympathy. During heavy rains I am lucky; I only get about an inch or two of water in my basement and that is because the thick clay at my property makes drainage poor. For those people whose homes are constantly being flooded, I am trying to understand what you think needs to be done. Ray Budden suggested that either the Township, the State, or Federal Government should buy you out. Tearing your homes down is a pretty drastic solution. Are other solutions? And what would you like the township to do? Is there state or federal grant money out there that can be used to help you? I hope a solution to your problem will be forthcoming.
Ray Budden January 10, 2013 at 05:43 PM
Hi Ric, it sounds drastic but it really isn't. FEMA is federal insurance money. Instead of writing us checks twice a year (minimum it seems) for what will be the rest of our lives, it is cheaper to buy us out. When does it become cost effective? After you have paid for our homes twice over? If the Feds don't want to buy us out then fix the flooding. It isn't the creek swelling up over the banks that takes us out, that water starts forming on Calhoun Street. Turn the 50 by 75 foot lot next to Barb into a huge retention basin and let the water flow in there and fill it up, give us a fighting chance. Fix the drainage. As tax payers certainly we deserve consideration. The Township allowed us to purchase our houses and we in turn pay our taxes. In return I would like to not have to fill sand bags any more than the people living on Villanger, Shenandoah, or Riverton Road have to do which would be never. I am trying to acquire the lot next to me, if I get it I don't think it is too far fetched to see me rent a backhoe for $500 and dig a huge hole to save myself aggravation. This issue and the mosquitos are real hot buttons on Calhoun near Jefferson and Adams. After Irene I was able to canoe around my backyard and I could have taken my kayak out to visit Barb by paddling around the block. Someone needs to step up and fix the issue or get us out, the current conditions aren't right. My sympathies to the other areas mentioned with flooding, you deserve help as well.
Maury January 10, 2013 at 05:47 PM
Barb I'm just trying to understand your situation. You keep saying you want the township to get involved but who have you talked to at the township? Not the mayor then who? I would love to know who at the township is not being responsive to you. I think we would all like to know! If this has been going on for years, who at the township has been aiding you?
John January 10, 2013 at 06:20 PM
@Barb, this is little help for U and the problems in that area, I guess when the homes were built there were politics involved with the building in that area....Its very easy to say we do not know anything about it and put up the cones and barricades till the water goes away....that does nothing till the next storm....I only wish that I could give U an answer instead of asking if U have asked the mayor....Do not know how the assessor puts a value on the house when he does not take into account the market conditions of the property.....I guess he is going to get 200,000 dollars to appeal the assessments, do not know....good luck and hope U get answers....
Barb Rivera January 10, 2013 at 06:45 PM
Township Construction Office, Zoning, township attorney, township accountant.. Etc. They are ALL aware! There is Federal money, State money.. Etc. The township officials are suppose to work with their tax paying citizens and apply for such grants and funding to raise these properties, move their homes and YES buy them out! It happened in many towns in North Jersey after Hurricane Irene.
Ric January 10, 2013 at 08:22 PM
Ray, I certainly wish you well. Please excuse me if I say something wrong because I am not familiar with your area. I live off of Devon Road. Unfortunately the houses that are in my neighborhood which have the Pompeston Creek running in their backyards will occasionally get flooded. For this Patch story, I had trouble placing where the flooding was occurring. I now realize it is just you and Barb Rivera that live in the same neighborhood which is behind the HallMark. While Leisa Wajda and Linda Seymore live in a different neighborhood which is near Cinnaminson Harbour. Is there not a dry area in this town? I guess I should be happy with my inch or two in the basement. Ray, from what direction is your flooding coming from? Is it coming from the creek, Rt. 130, or the Shoppes. If it is coming not from the creek, could not the township install piping that would take the water and just pour it into the creek?
Barb Rivera January 10, 2013 at 08:31 PM
Ray.. Let me know.. We would be happy to dredge out that area. Although we will still be fighting the Mosquito thing! We all need to come together and bombard a township meeting demanding answers and some sort of method to move forward.
Barb Rivera January 10, 2013 at 08:46 PM
Ric... The water is coming from the creek about 2 blocks away. It's actually a run off area that after the years dirt has accumulated leaving NO basin to hold water. Public works cuts the grass every other month or so and puts out the cones when its flooded. They are ALL well aware with what we have been living through.
Joe January 10, 2013 at 09:46 PM
There is actually a natural pond area near that problem area. When they started the development the area was sealed off at the end of the roadway with mounds of dirt and debris so water could not "flow' to the pond area. I think it was "Engineers" who did it. LOL
Joe January 10, 2013 at 09:59 PM
Flood map Cinnaminson harbor area http://map1.msc.fema.gov/idms/IntraView.cgi?ROT=0&O_X=5212&O_Y=4933&O_ZM=0.076924&O_SX=801&O_SY=759&O_DPI=400&O_TH=54494293&O_EN=55067337&O_PG=1&O_MP=1&CT=0&DI=0&WD=10425&HT=10400&JX=1272&JY=819&MPT=0&MPS=0&ACT=0&KEY=55051292&ITEM=1&PICK_VIEW_CENTER.x=451&PICK_VIEW_CENTER.y=258&R1=VIN
John January 10, 2013 at 11:38 PM
@Barb, it sounds like U have been dealing with turtles....they only want your tax money and to heck with solving the problem....I am really sorry about that....U can see that people above ask U about it but what do they think U are telling a lie....I have been asking questions and I get the same third degree....I do not have a water problem thou....I am really sorry....hope it works out for U
Barb Rivera January 10, 2013 at 11:41 PM
Our real estate taxes should not be equal to a home that doesn't require flood insurance. Also construction codes such as height of exterior electrical outlets. Everytime it floods there goes the electric to our pool and outside lighting. I would really think twice before canoeing around during a flood, you may come in contact with live electric.
Maury January 10, 2013 at 11:45 PM
I'm very surprised you or others in that area haven't gone to a township meeting yet. People can ignore your phone calls but they can't when you are face to face.
Maury January 10, 2013 at 11:46 PM
John-you have been asking questions to the township and no one has responded either? What are your questions and who have you tried to contact? I am very interested in all of this.
Craig January 10, 2013 at 11:57 PM
@John-how long have YOU lived here? How long have YOU been in the area? I was born in Riverside, grew up in Palmyra, then moved to EAST RIVERTON (BELLEVIEW), as this section of CINNAMINSON has been called that 60 years! I can tell that YOU were raised with a silver spoon in your....mouth! Perhaps you should go back to whatever butler appointed mansion you came from.
Cindy Pierson January 11, 2013 at 07:54 PM
@john b- I shouldn't bother responding to you, but I have to - How dare you look down your nose at us in East Riverton! Section 8 indeed - people like you are a big part of the problem. Why don't you come and visit us in East Riverton, and we'll give you a tour and a history lesson - bring boots. Perhaps you want to send the people from Rolling Greens and Fountain Farms and Wellington to other towns as well, since they have names that designate their neighborhoods as well (which is all the East Riverton name is, a geographic designation for a neighborhood!) And by the way, it is Cinnaminson that uses Riverton's zip code, not the other way around.Get your info straight before you start posting nasty, rude comments about where people live.
Cindy Pierson January 11, 2013 at 07:57 PM
I attend most of the township committee meetings, and have something to say at every single one. I think that a part of why we're getting at least a little attention is because I've been a bit of a thorn in the collective paw of the committee. I know its hard for many people to come to the meetings, but it would certainly make a difference to have more people there besides me
Taken a Breather January 11, 2013 at 09:15 PM
The creek overflows on FAIRFAX DRIVE all the time. Floods basements, closes roads and cause unsanitary conditions. The pictures of 126 Fairfax show the flooding that destroys the basement and heater, etc. Then a block away, there's the sewer plant area. What a mess! Maybe we should work on fixing the area that flood before we spend time and resources trying to develop new areas of the town.
Barb Rivera January 12, 2013 at 02:00 AM
^^^ I agree with you 100% . I don't encourage anyone to purchase a home in Cinnaminson. I never will until the township steps up and gives its tax payers a solution to this HUGE Flooding issue.
John January 12, 2013 at 04:47 PM
@Barb, I would tend to agree with U, why do you see alot of vacant bank owner properties in this city....now they are going to try and get the industrial area better so that more business can come into town....thats just a way of increasing there tax ratables.....There was an article about over 100 people protesting there assessments b/c they are between 30,000 and 50,000 dollars over the market price of the property....there solution to spend 200,000 to fight the assessments....I believe we have a part time assessor thats only there for 2 days but he goes to other towns as there assessor....I would like to know how we now need schools when in our budget there was no account for replacement of said buildings, building do not cave in, oh well....I hope U get some response and help with the flooding, hope he is not an engineer...
John January 13, 2013 at 04:38 PM
@Maury, I think if you read all the comments some people have shown up at the meetings and still the turtles put there heads away....so what good is it.....
Barb Rivera January 14, 2013 at 10:36 PM
Ray.. Just saw a West Nile case on The Doctors.. This township needs to spray our area because if I or any of my family catches this because the township is lazy & cheap.., there will be a Huge lawsuit on their hands. If you look out your window you will see flooding occurring already and it hasn't even rained 1/10 th of a inch.
t d February 27, 2013 at 04:08 PM
How far down zeisner ave do flood waters go, i was looking at a 555 zeisner and now may be changing my mind after hearing about the fooding issues
Barb Rivera February 27, 2013 at 10:33 PM
t d ^ I would RUN! Even if the water doesn't reach that point YET, it soon will. The township isn't willing to spend ONE penny to help alleviate Flooding!
Chip June 10, 2013 at 07:01 PM
Flooding? What flooding?
Barb Rivera June 17, 2013 at 09:32 PM
Mystery Diner.. Why your response 5 months later?


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