Henri brings nearly 10 inches of rain, heavy flooding to Central NJ

Bands of heavy rain overwhelmed storm drains and cars, flooding roads and homes in central New Jersey as Tropical Storm Henri lashed the region on Sunday.   Middlesex County was especially hard hit.

According to the National Weather Service, as much as 4-8 inches of rain fell across much of the center of the state by the afternoon, with small pockets receiving 7-10 inches. 

Multiple posts on social media showed examples of severe, sudden flash flooding caused by the storm.

On Sunday afternoon, FOX 5 NY Weather showed that radar estimated rainfall in Jamesburg, New Jersey was 9.7" with more rain falling.

In a Facebook post, the Jamesburg Fire Department said they had been responding to multiple calls since  5 a.m. Sunday, including reports of flooding, a house fire, and alarms.

Meanwhile, in Helmetta in Middlesex County, peopled on several roads were ordered to evacuate.  Displaced residents were being directed to Spotswood High School as a temporary shelter. Drivers were being asked to stay away from the area of Railroad Avenue, John Street, and Main Street while crews continued to work to ensure residents' safety.  Some people were rescued from their homes via boats.

Credit: Melrose Hose Company #1 via Facebook

Some residents had to be rescued from their homes via boat as the floodwaters rose.  There were 150 people reportedly rescued via boats due to floodwaters.

Further north, Newark saw its own flooding issues, especially in low-lying areas.

According to the National Weather Service, northern Monmouth, Middlesex and southeastern Somerset Counties remained under a flood warning until 5 p.m. Sunday afternoon, as many creeks and streams in the area were flooding or near to doing so.

Officials reminded drivers to turn around when encountering flooded roads, as most flood deaths occur in vehicles. 

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Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy told News 12NJ that the storm in the state had so far been a rain event but "a big rain event." He said the state had been spared very windy conditions although the winds may pick up later. "It’s a good day to stay home," he said, urging people to stay off the roads.