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Hunterdon County Commissioners approve grant application to FEMA for flood mitigation assistance near Hunterdon Medical Center

RARITAN TOWNSHIP, NJ (Hunterdon County) – Hunterdon County Commissioners recently authorized an application by the Department of Public Safety seeking grant funding from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, to be used for flood mitigation assistance in the area at Wescott Drive (CR 600) and Sandhill Road (CR 612) in Raritan Township.

Commissioner John Lanza, who also serves as the liaison for the Department of Public Safety said, “The intersection of Wescott Drive and Sand Hill Road has been a problem area for flooding, even during smaller rain storms. This junction serves as the main access point to the hospital for people who live to the east of the facility. Flooding at this intersection effectively prevents patients from accessing the hospital and any of the surrounding healthcare facilities near this entranceway. This Board fully supports the application for grant moniesto help mitigate flooding of key infrastructure near Hunterdon County’s only hospital.”

When the remnants of Hurricane Ida crossed over Hunterdon County in September of 2021, torrential rain caused severe watershed runoff along a ditch that runs parallel to Sand Hill Road.

The flooding on the roadway made it impassible and required the complete closure of this intersection for several days until emergency repairs could be made. FEMA Public Assistance covered the cost of emergency repairs to ensure the intersection was returned to predisaster condition, but the underlying causes of the damage was not addressed.

Grant funding from the BRIC Fiscal Year 2023 Funding Opportunities will be utilized to repair the underlying causes at the Westcott Drive and Sand Hill Road intersection, to prevent embankment flooding, and reduce extensive erosion to the ditches and areas around the culvert.

Senior Vice President of the Hunterdon Health Foundation Phil Beekman said, “The intersection at Wescott Drive and Sand Hill Road is an essential entry point to the Hunterdon Medical Center campus and its Emergency Room. All patients and ambulances that enter the campus from the northern part of the county comes through that intersection. During inclement weather, traffic has been forced to take an alternative route when the intersection is flooded. This can take longer and may impact a patient’s care when time is essential. Blocked intersections such as this one can add unnecessary pressure on patients, the medical center, and the first responders addressing the patient’s needs. We are enthusiastic about working with the County to resolve the issues at this intersection.”

Jay Edwards

Born and raised in Northwest NJ, Jay has a degree in Communications and has had a life-long interest in local radio and various styles of music. Jay has held numerous jobs over the years such as stunt car driver, bartender, voice-over artist, traffic reporter (award winning), NY Yankee maintenance crewmember and peanut farm worker. His hobbies include mountain climbing, snowmobiling, cooking, performing stand-up comedy and he is an avid squirrel watcher. Jay has been a guest on America’s Morning Headquarters,program on The Weather Channel, and was interviewed by Sam Champion.

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