Screenshot Credits: News12 New Jersey

Last weekend’s heavy rains, which caused a massive rock and mudslide along the Palisade cliffs that severely damaged vehicles parked behind The Duchess luxury apartment building on River Road in North Bergen, has prompted township officials to ask Hudson County to conduct an independent engineering and geological review of the cliffs along John F. Kennedy Boulevard East and River Road from Weehawken to North Bergen.

No injuries resulted from the massive rock slide, but residents of The Duchess are questioning what measures can be implemented to ensure the safety of property and individuals moving forward.  Some are even considered moving out of the luxury apartment building.

A press release issued by North Bergen’s media relations firm, Vision Media, stated the following:

“Local emergency services were on the scene swiftly early Monday morning, following multiple reports of a rock slide that damaged a number of cars parked behind The Duchess Apartment building at 7601 River Road. A group of engineers representing the Township, Hudson County, and the property owner met on-site Monday and Tuesday and determined the incident was unrelated to any development or construction on River Road. The engineers determined that the rock slide was created by natural conditions including heavy rain and roots and vegetation growing into the rock formations for many years.

The North Bergen Planning Board requires all development projects that impact the cliff to install protective netting and fencing, however this was not required for The Duchess because the developers did not touch the cliff in any way. The Township has been considering an ordinance requiring protective netting for all projects below the cliff going forward, and it is expected to be introduced at a future Commission meeting.”

News 12 New Jersey was the first to report the story over the weekend.

The North Bergen Police Department has closed Boulevard East to traffic between 74th and 78th Streets to allow an inspection to be completed.

Mayor Nicholas Sacco stated, “The safety and well being of our residents are always our top priorities and we are extremely grateful that no one was injured as a result of this unfortunate event.  Our focus now is addressing the aftermath and taking proactive measures to ensure that this does not happen again, because the amount of rain we received that night was not a one time event.”

In the meantime, management of The Duchess property has hired a company to clean up the debris.  That may take several days because the owners are waiting for the cliff to settle and any remaining unstable rocks to fall.