SECAUCUS - Residents along Golden Ave. and Humboldt St. awoke to flooding this morning after heavy early morning showers swept across the region.
A preliminary investigation by the Secaucus Department of Public Works (DPW) indicated that all the pumps at the Golden Ave. station had been shut off.
The computerized pump system appeared to have been manually turned off.
"I received a call from a resident at around 6:30 this morning that Centre Ave. was flooded," said Mayor Michael Gonnelli. "Shortly after that, I got a call from Kevin O'Connor, the assistant public works superintendent, who had already responded to the Golden Ave. pump station. I advised him to do whatever he could to get everything back up, which he did. So, everything is now up and functioning."
The mayor said there were three or four homes that experienced flood damage of about a foot of water. However, the extent of the flooding was localized and not extensive.
Friday afternoon town officials were awaiting inspectors from the pump manufacturer to investigate why the pumps stopped working.
In anticipation of the late-week rainstorm, DPW had last inspected the Golden Ave. pump station on Wed., Sept. 29 and found all the pumps there to be working at full capacity.
Because there is speculation the pumps may have been deliberately shut off, detectives from the Secaucus Police Dept. are investigating the matter.
"There is no information I can give at this time," said Chief of Detectives John Buckley. "Anything I could say would be pure speculation. The matter is under investigation. I expect this investigation to take us into the weekend and possibly into early next week."
When asked about the accessibility of the pump station, Gonnelli said access there requires a key, which is kept with DPW. - E. Assata Wright