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Weehawken reopens street damaged by mudslides

The township is still recovering from mudslides and severe flooding

The aftermath of one of the mudslides in Weehawken. Photos via the Township's Facebook page

Hackensack Plank Road in Weehawken is open again, according to Mayor Richard Turner.

The road was closed after mudslides flung mud and rocks from the Palisades Cliffs onto the street and into homes due to the historic nine inches of rain that fell during Hurricane Ida. After nearly two weeks, the road reopened on Sept. 13.

Contractors and engineers have stabilized the hazards from the mudslides on the cliff, according to Turner. They have also attached wire netting mesh to prevent rocks and debris from falling. Concrete barriers have been placed at the roadside to protect cars and pedestrians.

The work was performed to stabilize major hazards from the mudslides, according to Turner. In the next few weeks, more road closures will occur during further repairs. The township will inform residents before closures take place.

Shippen Street has also been reopened. It was closed from Gregory Avenue to Hackensack Plank Road until Sept. 14. The roadway suffered some pavement damage from the water pressure in the sewer line due to Ida and needed to be repaired.

Emergency repairs

The township hired the emergency contractors at its last council meeting to make the repairs to the cliffs and clean the streets. The Weehawken Township Council adopted two resolutions awarding contracts to various emergency firms for storm related damage and bonded $2,500,000 to cover the costs.

Philco Industries was hired for the cliff work. The contract awards an initial $355,000 for temporary shoring up of the cliffs and an additional amount not to exceed $2 million for the rebuilding and permanent restoration of the cliffs.

Another view of the carnage left by mudslides in Weehawken

J. Fletcher, Creamer and Son was contracted for roadway cleanup not to exceed $150,000. Montana Construction was contracted to secure the reservoir not to exceed $100,000. SERVPRO was contracted for water cleanup and remediation not to exceed $75,000. JZN Engineering was contracted for the design of the permanent cliff structure not to exceed $45,500.

According to Turner, the township will have to pay five percent down on the $2,500,000, so the remaining will be $2,380,000. The rest will come from the township’s capital reserve. Turner said he expected FEMA to cover most if not the entire cost.

Apply for FEMA assistance

Since Hudson County was added to the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) major disaster declaration, Weehawken residents who were impacted by the storm can now apply for federal assistance. According to the township, nearly all residents who were displaced are now back in their residences.

Apply with FEMA at www.disasterassistance.gov or call at 1-800-621-3362. The Township has opened application centers to assist residents in applying.

The centers are at The Weehawken Public Library at 49 Hauxhurst Avenue and at the Weehawken Housing Authority at 525 Gregory Avenue. For questions or concerns, call Town Hall at 201-319-6005.

For medical supplies that were lost or ruined due to the storm, such as prosthetics or orthotics, Medicare may be able to waive restrictions to ensure that residents receive new supplies. Call Medicare at 1-800-633-4227.

The Small Business Administration (SBA) is offering low-interest disaster assistance loans to New Jersey businesses and residents. For more information, go to https://www.sba.gov/article/2021/sep/07/sba-offers-disaster-assistance-businesses-residents-new-jersey-affected-remnants-hurricane-ida.

For updates on this and other stories, check www.hudsonreporter.com and follow us on Twitter @hudson_reporter. Daniel Israel can be reached at disrael@hudsonreporter.com.

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