Parts of Manville have become infested with rats nearly a year since Hurricane Ida

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Residents of a Manville neighborhood damaged by Hurricane Ida last year say there is now an infestation of rats.

There are houses that have been abandoned since the storm of 2021. And now the rats have arrived.

“You can’t set four little traps around a little house and expect something to happen,” says Allan Polak of Manville.

Residents say they first noticed the rats in the spring emerging from an empty house.

Joao Rebimbas filmed some of the rats. He says they are the only explanation for the holes in his fence. Behind his yard is another mess of a property with overgrown grass. He says he left Elizabeth for the suburbs because of the rats.

And Rebimbas is not the only one to be shocked.

“You don’t expect to have rat problems. You expect to have rabbits and other animals, but not rats,” says resident Kenneth Gorman.

Ida killed 30 people in New Jersey – more than any other state. And the storm damaged parts of Manville. The city is surrounded by the Raritan and Millstone rivers. Locals say nearby towns are overdeveloped, compounding the problem.

Manville has a history of flooding, but residents say the rat problem is new.

The mayor insists that the abandoned houses will be demolished. He says he will continue to pressure the state. He says a rat was spotted coming from a garage where people actually live, and he says he’s trying to get a county health inspector to investigate.


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