‘We were so scared.' Rossmoor adult community residents deal with Henri’s aftermath
The Rossmoor adult community in Monroe Township was among the hardest-hit areas impacted by flooding from Henri, with many residents suffering serious damage.
Vindhya Reddy spreads out the dresses and saris that she bought in India over the years across her lawn. They are now flood-soaked and moldy and she has laid them out to dry. They include the one that she wore at her son’s wedding. The garment is ruined, but Reddy says that she is saving it for the memories.
“I want to save that sari. It’s very precious to me,” she says.
A lot of the other garments will go into the trash, like much of what is left inside of the home. Reddy and her husband Ramesh awoke Sunday morning to their bed in 2 feet of water, terrifying them and their two grandchildren staying over.
“Oh boy, we were so scared,” says Ramesh.
The Reddys say that their home was the American dream realized. After waiting 15 years for a visa, they came to the United States in 2005 with their two children and settled in Tennessee. They followed their now-adult children to New Jersey eight years ago and bought the home – the first home they'd ever owned.
The family says that they are still in shock.
“We never faced this kind of situation. We never thought we’d face this kind of situation in our lives, you know?” says Vindhya.
The family is now waiting for an appearance or at least a call back from an insurance adjuster. But they are having trouble getting in touch.
“We’ve been calling them since this morning. I’ve been sitting on the phone,” says Ramesh.
The flooding was so bad in this section of Rossmoor that even the county rescue truck became stuck. Most of the residents say that they don’t have much hope in insurance because most do not have flood insurance. Their neighborhood is not in a flood zone.
Two houses over from the Reddys is neighbor Roe Kiernan. Flooding has made her home likely a near-total loss. She lost her son to a sudden heart attack eight years ago, and now must deal with this.
“Last night we stayed at Marriott. I mean, it’s costing a fortune. They wanted $182 last night and another $100 for my 4-pound dog,” Kiernan says.
A Red Cross volunteer tells News 12 New Jersey that the scope of Henri in terms of the number of people affected is smaller than many of the disasters that they respond to. But when hearing these people’s stories, one is able to quickly realize that there is no such thing as a minor disaster.