Heavy rain and wind causes flooding in Shore towns

Heavy rain slammed New Jersey’s Eastern seaboard last night and continued into the early morning hours, causing flash floods in a handful of Shore towns.

Wildwood was one the hardest hit, according to CBSPhilly.

Zeke Orzech, a self proclaimed storm lover and chaser, began tweeting about the storm and flash floods affecting Avalon around 5 a.m. on Saturday.

According to the National Weather Service, the remainder of the flash flood watch has been cancelled as of 9:30 a.m. While additional showers are expected, the threat for widespread heavy rain and flooding has ended, the update stated.

Between 6 p.m. Saturday and 6 a.m. Sunday, showers will gradually taper off over the southern portions of the forecast area.

Wildwood Crest received 5.03 inches of rain, which was the most rainfall in Cape May County. Ocean City got about 3.85 inches, and caused some local flash flooding.

The National Weather Service said a gale warning has been issued for Lower Delaware Bay based on observational trends, and will remain in effect until 2 a.m. on Sunday.

Along the coast, northeast winds will run 13 to 16 mph but farther south they will be as high as 18 to 23, increasing to 24 to 29 mph in the afternoon. Those winds could gust as high as 39 mph, the weather service says.

Originally published on July 29, 2017 at NJ.com.


NJ Transit train-car accident kills one, delays service

A car accident involving a single vehicle and a NJ Transit train has left one person dead.

The 7232 train running on the North Jersey Coast Line route bound for New York City struck a car at the Bethany Road crossing in Hazlet at 12:32 p.m. Service between Hazlet and Long Branch was temporarily suspended in both directions.

Penny Bassett, spokesperson for NJ Transit, said the person killed is believed to be the driver of the vehicle.

The driver was a 90-year-old man who drove around the railroad gates and was struck by the train, according to a press release.

Bassett said 145 passengers were aboard the train at the time of the accident, but no one was injured.

NJ Transit is looking to create a bus bridge between Hazlet and Long Branch, but that effort has been delayed because of heavy traffic in the area, Bassett said.

The vehicle was lodged under the train and caused a temporary stop in service between the two stations. Passengers may experience delays up to an hour in both directions due to the accident, according to NJ Transit.

Originally published on July 22, 2017.

Shooting death of 38-year-old mom leaves family with few answers

Desiree Alvarado’s giving nature is providing her 21-year-old daughter¬†the strength to carry on.

“She had a big heart,” said¬†Dezirae Alvarado. “If you ask anybody, they don’t have anything bad to say about her.”

“She was the backbone, she held our family together,” said¬†Dezirae. “She was our glue.”

Alvarado, 38, was shot last Friday on a New Brunswick street in broad daylight. She died at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital Tuesday evening. Christian Cortes, 25, of North Brunswick, was arrested shortly after the shooting.

Alvarado was a mother of four, Dezirae, Manuel, 18; Joshua, 12; and Victoria, 10.

Magdalena Morales, Alvarado’s mother, was at the family home at the time of shooting. When Morales heard the gunshots, she ran to the window and saw her daughter walking up their driveway clutching her neck.

Neighbors told the family, as Alvarado walked to her car she was approached by a man and shot twice. Alvarado was simply going to pick up a friend and run some errands, Morales said.

Cortes, 25, of North Brunswick, has been charged with first-degree murder, one count of unlawful possession of a weapon in the second degree and one count of possession of a weapon for unlawful purposes in the second degree, according to authorities.

Read the entire NJ.com article here.

Originally published on July 22, 2017.

Shore eatery sues township over ‘loud talking’ restrictions

The owner of Tommy’s Tavern + Tap has filed a civil lawsuit against Sea Bright Township over the city’s revised noise ordinance.

The complaint alleges that the city’s new ordinance is “arbitrary, unreasonable, capricious and illegal,” according to the document filed by attorney Robert F. Munoz, who said he could not comment on a pending case.

The two limited liability companies, 1030 Partners and 1030 Liquor Partners, that manage Tommy’s Tavern and its managing partner Thomas Bonfiglio filed the complaint on May 18.

Sea Bright’s former noise law was repealed on July, 5 2016; its current law was adopted on April 4.

The suit lists multiple complaints against the city including, the new ordinance doesn’t explain what decibel level is unacceptable and the ordinance fails to provide training to individuals tasked with curbing excessive noise. The suit also points out people who violate the “ambiguous” restriction four or more times could face up to 90 days in jail.

“Loud talking” and “other continuous noise” emanating from any source can be considered in violation of the town’s new statute, the suit stated.

“The borough, through the adoption of its noise ordinance substantially destroys plaintiffs’ beneficial use of the property by the threat of imposing excessive fines, and even imprisonment, for violations of the noise ordinance,” the suit stated.

Read the entire NJ.com article here.

Originally published on July 20, 2017.

Survival tips for Day One of N.J.’s summer of commuting hell

NJ Transit will divert Morris & Essex lines trains that would regularly go to New York Penn Station to Hoboken Terminal as Amtrak starts a massive track project in New York on Monday, NJ.com reported on July 10. On the first day of the “summer from hell,” an army of reporters braved the commute with workers and tourists traveling into the City.

School district’s lease, renovation of church buildings violated state law

The Ridgefield Park Board of Education violated three state laws when it brokered a lease and loan agreement that opened the Thomas Jefferson Early Learning Center.

The New Jersey Department of Education’s Office of Fiscal Accountability and Compliance issued a report that detailed the violations Wednesday evening.

A state monitor was assigned to the district after a $2.5 million budget shortfall was discovered in 2015.

The state investigation found the 10-year lease for the school was signed without a public hearing, the board was issued a loan to renovate the properties without its knowledge and the two school buildings were being used before they were authorized for occupation by the Office of School Facilities.

The district leased the buildings for the Thomas Jefferson school from St. Francis of Assisi Parish on July 1, 2014 for more than $5.9 million.

Mary Ellen Murphy, incoming president of the local workers union, has been an elementary art teacher in Ridgefield Park for two decades. During the last two years, as a district and a community Ridgefield Park is simply not functioning, Murphy said.

She wasn’t surprised by the findings of the state investigation “because I’ve been here for 20 years, and I had enough experience in the roles that I’ve had in education to watch and be concerned.”

Read the entire NJ.com article here.

Lesniak’s unsuccessful bid for governor is the last election in a long career

For state Sen.¬†Raymond Lesniak, whose career at the Statehouse has spanned four decades, primary night was like a last hurrah. But the Union County Democrat¬†says he isn’t slowing down.

“I’m not ready to just play golf,” Lesniak told¬†a small crowd of supporters¬†at La Catena restaurant in Roselle Park after he finished fourth¬†in the Democratic primary for governor.

Read the entire NJ.com article here.