Flood waters can reek havoc anywhere, especially in areas that do not flood regularly. One strong thunderstorm remained over central Mercer County Sunday night, dumping significant rainfall.
According to Princeton Fire Chief, Chad Bailey, the Princeton Fire Department responded to 14 calls Sunday night, and some were water rescues.
“Basically we had a couple different times where people tried to go through the water in their cars and got stranded in their vehicles. We did have one mobile home that was surrounded by water that had covered a couple cars that were sitting beside the mobile home. We did have to go in and actually help them out and assist them out of the house, ” Bailey said.
Businesses near Mercer street do not typically flood, but this storm was different. Gail Smith, the owner of Pet Zone Grooming, said her store saw multiple inches after the heavy rain.
“Apparently, we got about five to seven inches of rain overnight. The way the streets are laid out, I guess the water just rushed down the streets. The drains couldn’t handle it, so it just came rushing past the shop here. It came in the front door and then the side door. We got flooded. We ended up with six inches inside the shop,” Smith explained.
When five inches of rain fell in a torrential downpour Sunday night, numerous businesses near Mercer Street woke up to mud and water inside their doors. At Pet Zone Grooming, Smith said employees were already at work cleaning up the flood debris on Monday.
“We took our cages, our crates that we keep the dogs in, we took them all outside, we had to spray them down, clean them up, sanitize them because we had plenty of mud in here last night, ” Smith added.
Bailey said whenever someone drives into high water, they are also putting first responders’ lives at risk.
“Anytime we have to go rescue somebody for something that they did knowingly, something that they could have avoided, that puts everybody at risk because you never know what’s in that water. You know, we could catch diseases, we could sink, just to try to get somebody that was playing out of a vehicle that got stalled,” Bailey added.
Pet Zone Grooming will be closed due to the flooding until Wednesday. Those who live in Princeton and have a flooded basement, can call the Sanitation Department and Public Works to have them pump the water out of the basement.