TODAY’S COVID-19 CASE SUMMARY
There have been seven (7) new cases of COVID-19 in Montgomery and Rocky Hill since our last report on Tuesday, 8-31-21, and 17 cases in the last week. The Montgomery Township Health Department strongly encourages residents to get vaccinated, particularly with schools starting soon.
MONTGOMERY RECOVERING FROM STORM IDA
The remnants of Hurricane Ida produced the second worst flooding of the Millstone River in Montgomery Township history, with the river level reaching 23.3 feet versus 24.2 feet during Irene ten years ago. In addition, flash floods were particularly severe in the Sourland Mountain area, along the Rock Brook.
Two motorists died in Hillsborough, including a Montgomery resident who was traveling on Route 206 just north of the municipal line.
Mayor Devra Keenan declared a state of emergency Thursday morning which continues today. Residents are asked to avoid unnecessary travel in support of first responders who are still hard at work with recovery efforts, including the removal of abandoned cars.
“This storm has been devastating for our community and so many others,” said Mayor Keenan. “It’s going to take some time for us to recover, physically and emotionally. We all owe a huge debt, once again, to our police, fire, and emergency medical services personnel who have saved lives through their heroic response this week. I was also heartened by stories of residents assisting their neighbors.”
The entire state of New Jersey has been declared a federal disaster area, making relief funds available to governments and individuals facing certain types of losses. Preliminary information on applying for relief funds of various kinds has been posted on the Montgomery Township website.
Municipal officials met Friday morning to assess the impact and report on recovery efforts, producing this summary:
- The Montgomery Police Department succeeded in contacting all 35 households of residents preregistered as vulnerable, and rescued individuals from inundated homes and vehicles without any loss of life in the township.
- Two roads, Route 533 River Road and Hollow Road, remain closed due to continued floodwaters or extensive road and/or bridge damage. Montgomery Police ask residents to respect all road and bridge barricades.
- Eight bridges in Montgomery are closed pending assessments and repairs by Somerset County, including bridges on Burnt Hill Road near the Lower Middle School; Route 601 near the High School and Inverness Drive; the Mill Pond bridge on Dead Tree Run; and three bridges on Hollow Road. In addition, the nearby Griggstown Causeway bridge and the Route 518 bridge over the Millstone River remain closed.
- Rock Brook along Hollow Road jumped its banks and changed course, prompting an assessment underway today by Police and the Montgomery Engineering Department. The Bessie Grover Park along Rock Brook has been destroyed, with an assessment still to come.
- The Stage II water treatment plant on Route 605 River Road near Rocky Hill, soon to be rebuilt to withstand flooding, was severely damaged, releasing untreated water into the Millstone River. Assessments are ongoing, but residents are reminded to avoid contact with all floodwaters. New Jersey American Water company put out a statement indicating public water remains safe to drink.
- Any residents with private wells should take caution if their wellhead became submerged by floodwaters. Potable water is available for free at the municipal building for any resident concerned about the safety of their water.
- The Container Facility in Belle Mead will be open next week, Tuesday through Saturday 8am to 2pm, and fees/coupons waived for residents discarding storm-related refuse. If you use a borrowed or hired truck, you’ll need to accompany the driver with proof of residency or provide a signed letter attesting to Montgomery as the source of refuse. Residents are advised to remove wet material immediately and take special care to prevent mold build up.
- An explosion heard overnight by many Montgomery residents was the Saffron Banquet Hall in Manville aka Rhythms of the Night.
- Township offices are fully open, but the administration request residents attempt to resolve any questions or concerns first by phone (908-359-8211) or email, before visiting in-person.
The Montgomery Department of Public Works will be active throughout town over the coming days and will appreciate public patience and support as they handle storm-related clean-up and repairs.
GET VACCINATED QUICKLY TO MEET EMPLOYER MANDATES
This afternoon’s vaccination clinic is proceeding as planned at the Montgomery Township municipal building from 2-4pm.
Many New Jerseyans are facing new vaccination requirements from employers, such as hospitals and state, county, and municipal governments. To help residents get vaccinated quickly for work, Montgomery Township will offer the one-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine every Friday afternoon in September.
The J&J vaccine provides full vaccination status in just two weeks from the date of vaccination. The township will accept all walk-ins, but also provides appointments for your convenience on the health department website.
TOWNSHIP SEPTEMBER NEWSLETTER PUBLISHED
Montgomery Township’s quarterly newsletter was published Wednesday as an insert to the September issue of The Montgomery News. It contains a thank-you to organizations that helped with the pandemic response and an update on the public health situation from Montgomery Township Health Officer Stephanie D. Carey.
In addition, you’ll find an article about the upgrade to Montgomery Township’s bond rating, a reminder about hunting season, and tips for reducing water pollution. The newsletter is also available on the Township website.
GET READY FOR FALL RECREATION SIGN-UPS
The Fall Montgomery Recreation Newsletter is available online in preparation for registration beginning September 7 at 8 AM. The newsletter offers after school programs, virtual seminars, athletics, and senior programs, etc.
In-person programs require that masks be worn for COVID-19 safety.