Flood victims weary after third flood in as many years

Published July 1, 2006

TRENTON, N.J. - Even as they cleaned up the muck left behind by some of the Northeast's worst flooding in decades, some riverside residents wondered Friday how long it would be before they would be at it again.

Life along the swollen Delaware River was frustrating - thousands evacuated, roads and bridges closed, utilities crippled and tens of millions of dollars in flood damage.

And with storms having flooded many of the same homes and businesses in 2004 and 2005, there was a renewed call to do something about it.

After touring areas along the Delaware, New Jersey Gov. Jon Corzine said he would take another look at a flood task force report, released this year, that calls for redrawing maps to include more land in flood plains, further limiting development in those areas and having government buy out homes in especially flood-prone areas.

The flooding forced thousands to evacuate and left at least 20 dead.

"We should do what we can immediately ... to get people back to some degree of normalcy," said Sen. Frank Lautenberg, D-N.J. "But we've got to think about the longer-term picture, how we deal with these things in as quick a fashion as possible."