River Road Bridge Sunday
The River Road Bridge Sunday afternoon. (at the south end of the parking lot near the main river bridge.)

Frenchtown Flood of 2004 - page 3


As it crested and subsided.... 3 pm Sunday afternoon
Day two: September 19, 2004.

It did not flood entire town

In fact, most of the town is okay.
But some dozens of our neighbors are facing a hard cleanup and may appreciate our help.

Homes Photos on next page.

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3 pm. - Sunday afternoon.

The Bridge is still closed, but most of the town stayed dry.

The water is still high. Lots of odd stuff floating down the river and under the bridge. The bridge photo below shows a floating dock. Came down from somewhere upriver. Then a wall or two from a shed or something. They just floated down the river, bounced into the debris on the pilings and passed underneath the bride, on the way to who knows where...

During the afternoon, another floating dock came down and went under our bridge. The two jet skis were still tied up to the dock, although the dock wasn't tied up to the shore any longer. Next time, the owner will find a stouter tree...

The old railroad bed - commonly known by its misnomer "the towpath"* has become the savior levee of Frenchtown.
Now, we suggest it be referred to as "The Frenchtown Levee", for it certainly served that purpose for our community this weekend. The river flooding stopped at the levee and all photo records of the event will attest to that.

* (There was never a canal along this stretch of the river. The Raritan canal meets up with the Delaware 14 miles south of here. Nonetheless, it's still been well known as "the towpath", probably because the current hiking trail does resemble the towpath along the Canal across the river in Pennsy.)

There were some exceptions to the protection of our levee, of course. I photographed a young fellow canoeing along  Railroad Ave, on the 'town' side of the levee. Most houses there were undamaged, but the road was full enough of water to enable easy transit by canoe.

As we walk up the trail, the water is still close to the top, but thanks to the nearly perfectly level surface and firm stone base left by the railroad tracks that used to run through here, the levee holds and the river is kept at bay.

The exception here is the filling of the Railroad Avenue Basin. This is most likely due to some drain pipe designed to let water flow out of the basin into the river. Like the bridge across the Nishesackawick Creeks below, today the tide has turned, so to speak, and the river is flowing into our little community.

The Railroad Avenue Basin flooding has isolated and filled some garages, and ruined some carefully tended yard, but the homes seem pretty much intact.

Down below the bridge - on the river side of the levee, where the homes are fully exposed to the river's brutal takeover, houses are flooded. First floor, forget it. Outdoor sheds are aquariums. More on that later.

The backup of the flooded creeks has flowed water into the south end of town with no compassion for the residents. The houses will likely survive, but the cleanup will be a big job.

The Nishesakawick creeks have flooded from the river side. No longer do they drain into the Delaware, for this weekend, the Delaware floods back up their paths and floods our south town area. Route 29 is totally closed due to flooding of both the Nishesakawick and the Little Nishesackawick Creeks. Dozens of houses in this part of town are flooded with basements full and most first floors under water.

Flooded Road Closed in Frenchtown

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Just be happy if your house is dry.

and come by for more photos and the continuing story tomorrow. - ed.
Click photos to see larger images

Debris Against Bridge on Sunday
Flood Scene:
Frenchtown Bridge at 3 pm Sunday, September 19

Kathleen Connally's photo of the Frenchtown Bridge in June 2004
Tranquil Scene:
Below the Bridge Between Uhlerstown, PA and Frenchtown, NJ June 30, 2004
photo courtesy of  Kathleen Connally

See more beautiful photos of our region at Kathleen's website: http://DurhamTownship.com

more flood photos to come:

photo of  boy in canoe

photo of the towpath

paul's shop

mike's shed

under contract/under water

dozens of shots of the crowd of visitors here to see the flood.

All coming soon.

- webmaster


Debris Against Frenchtown Bridge
The Frenchtown Bridge at 3 pm Sunday, September 19, 2004. Flood waters have crested, but debris builds up.

Kathleen Connally's Frenchtown Bridge

The Frenchtown Bridge as photographed long before the flood - June 30, 2004
Note the distance between the water and the bridge compared to the photo above.

"Below the Bridge Between Uhlerstown, PA and Frenchtown, NJ June 30, 2004"
  photo courtesy of Kathleen Connally

See more beautiful photos of our region at Kathleen's website: http://DurhamTownship.com
Check back for updated photos tomorrow. - webmaster

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last updated: 9/27/2004