Flood warning for parts of Morris County, Aug. 23; Whippany River is high in Morristown

 

A flood warning is in effect for the Pompton River in Pompton Plains through noon on Monday, Aug. 23, 2021, as the region feels the after-effects of Hurricane Henri.

Meanwhile,the Whippany River in Morristown is hitting the bridge on Bishop Nazery Way, and Cauldwell Playground at Martin Luther King Avenue and Flagler Street is now Cauldwell Pond.

Water hitting the bridge at Bishop Nazery Way in Morristown, Aug. 23, 2021. Photo by Kevin Coughlin

MLK is still passable, but one direction is covered with water between Flagler and Spring streets.

Bethel A.M.E. Church is adjacent to the river. The church sustained significant damage after Tropical Storm Irene in 2011.  Pastor Sidney Williams Jr. was cautiously optimistic on Monday morning.

“We should be fine given the improvements we made after Irene. However, if the water rises more than two feet above street level we will have a problem,” the minister said.

The town planning board is weighing a proposal for 15 apartments on Martin Luther King Avenue, in the flood plain. Another hearing is scheduled for Thursday.

Washington Valley Road in Morris Township also was closed between Ranney Hill and Gaston roads on Monday morning, Township police reported.

Morristown was lucky the storm veered east, and that the rainfall was steady and not torrential, said Alison Deeb, facilitator for the Whippany River Watershed Action Committee.

Another half inch of rain is possible on Monday, according to the National Weather Service.  Things should dry out on Tuesday and Wednesday, when temperatures may approach 90 degrees.

Deeb said the storm underscored the importance of volunteers’ annual spring cleanup, which removes debris from the river that can exacerbate flooding. She is contemplating another cleanup for the fall.

This story has been updated with comments from Pastor Sidney Williams Jr., Alison Deeb, and information from Morris Township police.

The Cauldwell Playground looks like Cauldwell Pond, Aug. 23, 2021. Photo by Kevin Coughlin
The Cauldwell Playground looks like Cauldwell Pond, Aug. 23, 2021. Photo by Kevin Coughlin
The Whippany River roils on Aug. 23, 2021. Photo by Kevin Coughlin
Water hitting the bridge at Bishop Nazery Way in Morristown, Aug. 23, 2021. Photo by Kevin Coughlin
Whippany River churns below bridge on Bishop Nazery Way, Aug. 23, 2021. Photo by Kevin Coughlin


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