Water rescues, state of emergency follow heavy flooding in Central Jersey
A strong line of storms moved through parts of New Jersey Saturday afternoon, knocking out power to thousands and causing flooding that forced at least one town to declare a state of emergency as crews rescued stranded motorists from rising flood water.
At least 5,000 people remained in the dark following the storms, which brought rain and lightening to many towns in Central Jersey. The majority of the outages - just over 4,000 - were in Morris County, according to the JCP&L outage map.
In West Windsor, police notified residents that the township has declared a state of emergency.
"Severe flood conditions exist all around the township," police said in an alert.
According to authorities, the flooding caused dozens of vehicles to become disabled throughout the town, and led police to perform several water rescues.
"There should be no unnecessary road traffic until further notice. Police/Fire and EMS are responding to numerous incidents throughout the township," police said.
In Princeton, local police sent out an alert around 6 p.m.warning people to avoid high water areas as heavy rainfall caused "localized flooding and hazardous conditions." According to the Princeton Police Department, Quaker Road was closed due to flooding and Rt. 206, Hamilton Avenue, Dodds Lane, Sycamore Road, Harrison Street and Alexander Road were experiencing flooding that made parts of those roadways impassable.
"We are receiving reports of stranded vehicles attempting to navigate through high water," police said in the alert.
The National Weather Service issued a flash flood emergency for northeastern Mercer County, especially Princeton and West Windsor at 6:26 p.m. The weather service said up to six inches of rain had already fallen with the worst flooding taking place along the Rt. 1 corridor between Princeton and Plainsboro.
"This is a dangerous situation. Do not go around road barriers. Move to higher ground," the Weather Service said on its website.
The National Weather Service said river banks and culverts can become "unstable and unsafe" due to the high water. Urging caution and preparedness, the NWS called the flooding in some areas "an extremely dangerous and life-threatening situation."
The flash flood warning remains in effect until 10:15 p.m.
The storms and lightening also caused play to be suspended at the PGA tour in Springfield, according to authorities.
Toniann Antonelli is a social content producer for NJ 101.5. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, or on Twitter @ToniRadio1015.
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