Irene leaves her mark

Few places in Rahway were spared from Hurricane/Tropical Storm Irene this past week. The heaving banks of the Rahway River and Milton Lake spilled out onto streets, leaving the Veterans Field underwater, felling trees along St. Georges Avenue and elsewhere.

Former Mayor James Kennedy, now executive director of the Arts District, thought the Hamilton Stage for the Performing Arts, now under construction, “fared well” (photo above). The 4 inches of water on the platform “more than likely would not have had the opportunity to enter the building if it were all closed in,” he said via email. “I’m not concerned about the water here. The houses to the left, facing the building, really need to be removed; but the building will be fine,” Kennedy said.

The plan is to eventually acquire the remaining homes and create parking for Hamilton Stage and the adjacent amphitheater (photo left). Due to the rising costs of the arts projects, however, interim parking will take the space of the amphitheater for the time being.

Having grown up on the corner of River Road and Church Street, Kennedy said he’d never seen a storm this bad but is confident that more mitigation will occur upstream in the future.

For more images of flooding throughout Rahway, see our Facebook page, where we’ve shared quite a few compilations from readers. Thanks to everyone who shared their great photos!

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