Lumberton floodwater nearly swallows mailboxes, front porches and engulfs basements

Looking at downtown Lumberton Township in intense flooding is more like water, with a splash of downtown.

A portion of Creek Road looks just like a creek, with floodwaters almost swallowing mailboxes, engulfing basements and rising to front doorsteps. Neighborhoods near downtown look like floating houses.

Flooding in Lumberton,N.J. Thursday.

“It’s not the worst it’s been, but it’s pretty bad,” said Lumberton Fire Department firefighter Jason Carty.

Lumberton volunteer firefighter Carty made the rounds Thursday evening, checking on the community and neighboring towns.

“You gotta remember, this is people’s pride and joy, their homes, their vehicles, their valuables,” Carty explained.

Carty calls the people staying put in flooded homes in the township nettle-tested veterans.

Flooding in Lumberton,N.J. Thursday.

“Basement’s under, porch is under. But, we’ll recover,” said resident Jane Donnelly.

Donnelly is one of those battle-tested veterans. She had to take a boat, with the help of some kind strangers, to get to dry land so her dog, Esmerelda, could finally go to the bathroom. Somehow, her spirits were high.

“The rest of the year, we live in paradise, so, you know, you have a little bad with some good. It’s a trade-off,” Donnelly stated.

Flooding in Lumberton,N.J. Thursday.

Township leaders say they got close to six inches of rain overnight and the water crested overtop the Medford Township public dam at Kirby’s Mill, causing most of the flooding. They opened their emergency operations center just after 5 a.m.

That’s when Bart Townsend noticed the water rising in his basement.

“I got four sump pumps going right now, so I’ve got six to eight inches,” Townsend said.

As a new homeowner, he’s not as used to the flooding as the long-timers. Even for them, the clean-up won’t be easy. But, people here are thankful they are safe. First responders, like Carty, making sure of that.

Flooding in Lumberton,N.J. Thursday.

“The most important thing is your life. You can’t replace your life,” Carty said.