Hurricane Irene: The Damage (Part 1)

Posted: Tuesday August 30, 2011

Hurricane Irene brought torrential rains and gusty winds to Northern New Jersey. While the wind caused tree damage resulting in wide spread power outages, the most damaging effects resulted from the flooding rains. All water tributaries experienced major flooding due to eight inches or greater rain fall amounts occurring in just over a twelve hour period. Small streams struggled to direct an overflow of water into the larger rivers, as a result, sections of many roads washed away, including a section of Route 80 and Interstate 287.

The following pictures detail road damage from around the town of Kinnelon New Jersey. According to various news sources it may take at least three months to assess and fix the damage. At the end of the day what the wrath of Irene really taught, is just how vulnerable much of the old infrastructure is becoming, not just in New Jersey but all around the North East. Had Irene became a much more powerful category 2,3,4, or 5 hurricane, I can't imagine what the state would have looked like.

This is just the first in a series of blog posts detailing the damage which occurred as a result of Hurricane Irene. I have many more pictures of the flooding and emergency response efforts which I will be posting online within the coming days.

A bridge collapse along a stretch of Kinnelon Road in Kinnelon New Jersey.

A closer look at the road wreckage.

In this picture you can see the various layers of asphalt which had been applied to the road surface over the years; had to be a solid two feet thick.

The rapid flowing waters of the creek became too much for the small bridge to handle. Over saturation of the soil caused rapid erosion.

A twisted guard rail remains attached to the heavy cement bridge wall.

The reflective white tar strip is all which holds the shoulder in place.

Another bridge collapse, this one opening up along Forge Road in Kinnelon New Jersey.

The asphalt layer on this road is much thinner in comparison to the Kinnelon Road collapse.

Electrical lines buried just under the road surface, still remain intact.

Unfortunately this collapse opened at the beginning of a dead end road, trapping all residents and their vehicles. As a result I imagine the bridge will be re-built rather quickly.

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