FLOOD -- Bound Brook, NJ 1999: A Confluence of River and Rain (CD Format)
©2002 Susan Klein
This one woman show braids together seven stories of survivors and rescuers of the flood that displaced approximately 5000 people. In September of 1999, Hurricane Floyd stalled over an 800-square-mile area of central New Jersey, dumping between 8 and 11 inches in just a few hours and raising the Raritan River to 42 ½ feet – 13 ½ feet above flood stage.
Based on the experiences related to me over the course of 18 months, the story premiered in October, 2001, to an audience of hundreds including those who appear in the story. The Messenger Gazette exalted the event as having a “searing effect on the soul,” and further, “Klein told of heroism, stubbornness, kindness, generosity and the simple feeling shared by many of the flood’s victims – staring at possessions ruined by the wrath of nature…. All helped to provide sources of human inspiration and hope . . . . Klein brilliantly created a masterpiece.”
A story of this magnitude comes together only with the generosity of a number of very gracious people. I am indebted to all the survivors and rescuers of the Flood of ’99 who told me their stories, and especially to those who gave their permission to allow me to combine their stories into a narrative.
Boundless thanks to: the passionate dreamer of this project, Heritage Trail Association founder Marguerite Chandler – for her initiative and ongoing assistance throughout the project; and Karen Carroll (also a prominent figure in FLOOD), who provided me with all manner of research materials as well as her efficiency and bountiful spirit. Without their energy during the development stages, this story could not have come to fruition.
The photograph, which tells a story in itself, is used with the permission of AP/World Wide Photos.