365 Days Later: How Hurricane Ida Impacted Manville


Ashley Tomaszfski

September 1st, 2021 a hurricane named Hurricane Ida hit New Jersey. Towns were flooded and houses were destroyed. Beginning of Hurricane Ida, there was hard rainfall and strong winds. The rain was falling at 3.33 inches an hour and winds were blowing at 53 mph. The storm was only in Manville, New Jersey overnight, but the storm was powerful. By the end of the storm, lots of people were forced out of their homes. A lot has changed around a small town in New Jersey since last year, buildings were fixed, houses were rebuilt, and lots of new things are to come.

How did hurricane Ida affect the people and the environment around us? Michelle Mizerek, a Manville resident who resides in the Valley, responds, “Our hometown with many neighbors who have been with each other for ages were left devastated yet again. Homes were left behind to find either family members to stay with or temporary shelter. Some neighbors stayed behind to push through. The environment around us has not changed – there is still a floodwall (if not higher than last year) in the neighboring town of Zarapath, right along the Millstone River. The FloodGates in Bound Brook still exist.” With this response, flooding is very common in Manville, New Jersey. Flooding was known to happen in the “valley.” Due to the Millstone River being right at the end of the valley, once the river hits 9 feet deep, that is when the flooding starts. Hurricane Ida crested at 27.4 feet at 11:15 am, Hurricane Floyd crested at 27.1 feet. Lots of people were left with nothing. Lorraine Franklin, another Manville resident communicates, “Many People were left with nothing and had to move in with family and friends.” The majority of residents located in the valley had to start from scratch once again.

What are the lasting effects? Mizerek and Franklin both felt similarly with the lasting effects that have left people still homeless, walking away from their family homes and even moving to a completely different area or state. Businesses have still not recovered or closed down altogether. The thought of any heavy rainstorm in flood-prone areas leaves everyone with a feeling of anxiety. Both residents bring up how families were left with nothing and had no way to get back on their feet at that exact time. Many people of Manville are still fixing their houses to this day, while also trying to get back what they have lost.

With every hardship, there is a learning experience to grasp. Many people were able to come together and help each other out. Everyone all over town, ranging from neighbors to business owners, to teachers, cleaned up with each other, they donated cleaning supplies, clothes, food, etc. Michelle Mizerek responded, “Everyone learned to become more prepared, learned how to pull together and help each other as the cleanup and healing begins.” Manville, as a small town, has always been helpful to each other; Manville as a town has been through a lot.

Many residents have grown up together and have been through more than just a hurricane together. The newer people who have moved here, now are all aware of how strong a community Manville is. With the help of old neighbors, everyone now knows how to be prepared. Lorraine Franklin comments, “They need to think more about the environment, and how to help others. They are choosing to live in and how the weather can impact everything.” Everyone in the community now understands how hard a little storm could be for Manville, due to the rivers, the hills, and all the buildings.

Even though it has been a year since a devastating tragedy, the Manville people’s strength does not falter.