An update on elemental events

When a Princeton family of four escaped from their home Wednesday morning as it roared in a blaze of fire, it seemed not much else could happen in this usually quiet town. But a weekend storm brought caused chaos in Princeton as spots around town faced off with the elements. Now the storm has passed, but the sky has more in store for next week – don’t worry, it’s not all bad.

On Saturday afternoon, Princeton was thrown under water with an emergency flash flood watch instated through 10:30 p.m.. The Princeton Public Library had to close when its bottom floor flooded – the community room was drenched in water. JaZams toy store  flooded. The Spring Street Garage flooded with water levels so high on the bottom floor some cars could not get out. Areas downtown, including Witherspoon Street, Hinds Plaza and Spring Street were also flooded.

A family had to be evacuated from their home on White Lane. Four people needed help from Princeton police and emergency workers when their cars got stuck in floodwaters throughout town.

Anyone who tried to take the train out of Princeton was forced to remain in town when almost the entirety of the pedestrian tunnel at Princeton Junction Station was flooded.

“I love Princeton but I do not enjoy how I was trapped there due to crazy flooding,” tweeted @OhmygodTARA with a photo of flooded streets.

Photo Credit: Tara @ohmygodTARA

The Dinky continued to run and a shuttle was provided for passengers who could not use the tunnel at the station.

There were closures on County Road 605 and Route 206, Alexander, Franklin Corner, Quaker and Sycamore Roads; Harrison Street South, Mercer and Nassau Streets, Dodds Lane, Hamilton Avenue, Canal Point Boulevard and the Princeton Pike. Police had to tend to several traffic lights throughout town, some of which they put on flash to enforce drivers to use extra caution.

While County Road and River Roads re-opened yesterday, Mercer Street, between Lovers Lane and Quaker Road, will remain closed today through 5 p.m., police say.

Despite the clouds hanging overhead this afternoon and damage done to area cars, businesses and homes, there is some beauty to look forward in the sector of elemental events. A meteor shower on Aug. 11 will light up the sky and D&R Greenway Land Trust is planning to celebrate.

The Perseid Meteor Shower happens each year in mid-July to early August when the earth passes through a stream of debris known as the “Perseid Cloud.” This cloud is made up of particles from the Swift-Tuttle comet.
To enjoy the meteor shower, Princetonians and area astronomers are welcome to gather in St. Michaels Farm Preserve by 11:30 p.m. If you have binoculars or a telescope, feel free to bring them along to have a closer look.  The event will be in the style of a fireworks show – so bring a long a blanket, lounge chair, bug spray and midnight snacks. Flashlights with red lenses can be provided by D&R Staff upon arrival.

“This fun event has become a summer tradition for us,” says D&R Greenway Vice-President Jay Watson. “St. Michaels Farm Preserve, at the edge of Hopewell Borough, is the perfect place to hold this event, with its 340 acres of beautiful fields, woods and nature trails and its important community history. One of the reasons we preserved this magnificent property was to keep it as an important place where families can enjoy nature and the outdoors. We are hoping for clear skies and a good show of meteors!”


About Erica Chayes Wida

Erica Chayes Wida is a writer, mom, and complete zealot when it comes to poetry, paella and globe collections. After graduating with a degree in Anthropology from UCLA, Erica moved to Italy where the seasons and old architecture inspired her journey back to the East Coast. Since then, she and her husband have created a nest egg locally and, over time, developed a rather grand love affair with the town of Princeton. Erica is senior editor at The Princeton Sun and enjoys fulfilling her Princeton affections on a daily basis. | View all posts by Erica Chayes Wida