Bound Brook, New Jersey - Flooding


The lower downtown area of the city has been infamous for flooding of the Raritan River. A major flood in 1896 caused major fires. In September 1999, many structures in Bound Brook near the commercial zone were damaged or destroyed by floods from the Raritan River resulting from Hurricane Floyd. The flooding from this hurricane reinvigorated a long-planned effort called the Green Brook Flood Control Project that would protect Bound Brook from up to a 150 year flooding event from the Raritan River and its tributaries the Middle Brook and Green Brook that comprise the western and eastern boundaries of the town. The highest flooding level since 1800 in Bound Brook was reached during Hurricane Floyd in September 1999 (42.13 feet, according to the U.S. Geological Survey). The second highest recorded level was after the April 2007 nor'easter, when the Raritan River crested above 38 feet, at two inches above the level set during Tropical Storm Doria in 1971. Main Street was also flooded in March 2010 and October 1996. Bound Brook's downtown flooding has led to several out-of-control fires over its history, including the fires of 1881 and 1887 which led to the formation of the Bound Brook Fire Department. During Hurricane Floyd in 1999, a fire began in Otto Williams Harley Davidson on Main Street. With the building cut off by flood water, the fire spread quickly to two other structures before being stopped by the efforts of the Bound Brook Fire Department, then under the command of Chief Richard S. Colombaroni. Utilizing Fire boats from the FDNY as well as extensive help from mutual aid companies, the fire was stopped before two other buildings on Main St. and others nearby on Mountain Avenue, could be affected. During the April 2007 Nor'easter, the BBFD stopped another fire from spreading through an area of close residential construction. Under the command of Chief James Knight, and again with the assistance of mutual aid companies including the Finderne Fire Department, fire loss was restricted to three residential buildings.

Flooding of downtown occurred again in August 2011 when Hurricane Irene passed along the East Coast. however, it was surmised that damage was mitigated by the not-yet-completed flood gate system.

Around 2010, Bound Brook built a suspendable wall to protect Main Street and the rest of Bound Brook from future floods.

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