Fed up on Louis Ave.

One longtime neighbor is finally fed up

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  • Photo by Erika Norton Part of a pipe can be seen partly exposed on Louis Avenue.

  • Photo by Erika Norton Flooding can be seen on Louis Avenue on Friday, July 7, with water not going down a storm drain.

  • Photo by Erika Norton Flooding can be seen on Louis Avenue on Friday, July 7, with water not going down a storm drain.

  • Photo by Erika Norton Water is not going down this storm drain on Louis Ave, causing flooding in a resident's yard and in the street.

  • Photo by Erika Norton Potholes can be seen along Louis Avenue, another problem in addition to flodding.

  • Photo by Erika Norton Heavy rain and faulty drainage left a resident's yard and driveway flooding on Friday, July 7.


For years, flooding has been an issue in parts of Wallisch Estates, but for one section of Louis Ave., the flooding has gotten worse and worse.

“I’ve been in this neighborhood for 25 years and I know it’s considered a flood zone,” said one resident of Louis Avenue, “but to find out that the pipes that are going through this neighborhood are broken — every time it rains, it floods.”

Lately the flooding has gotten so bad for this resident, who wished to remain anonymous, that she says her whole yard turns into a lake every time it rains. After the heavy rain last Friday, water smelling of sulfur could be seen pouring into her yard and surrounding her car.

The problem, she says, is that the water is not going down into the two storm drains near her house. After the rain last Friday, water could be seen not going down the drains, but rather just sitting stagnant and overflowing into her yard and partly in a neighbor's yard.

According to Ed Steines, the director of the West Milford Department of Public Works, she’s right — part of the pipe system isn’t functioning properly.

“There is one section of pipe on Louis Avenue that we either have a blockage or a collapsed pipe that is preventing water from draining down properly,” Steines said. “If you look above or below where the flooding is, the drains are actually working. But, we do have a blockage or a clogged pipe or something there that we have to get in there and dig up and find out what’s going on.”

When will this issue be fixed? Steines said it’s on the DPW’s agenda “for the near future.” He said the DPW presently has some drainage work going on so they cannot fix the problem immediately, but they do plan to investigate and find out what the problem is.

For the resident toward the end of Louis Ave., the fix can’t come soon enough. She said she and other neighbors have called and complained about the pipe, which is now slightly exposed in the street. The DPW has told her before that the problem has been fixed, she said, which isn’t the case.

She also said that the road in general has gone downhill, with the dead end street plagued with numerous potholes. Because of the deteriorating conditions, she said residents are leaving, with three Louis Ave. houses currently on the market, according to Zillow.com.

“Every time it rains, we call, they come by, and they don’t do anything,” she said. “They just told me yesterday they’re going to fix it maybe in the fall. Well how many more years am I going to have to live like this?”

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Community Newspapers


Gerald A. Shirhall
  • Nov 13, 2017


West Milford, NJ