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June 19, 2013

FEMA Releases Updates to Preliminary Flood Work Maps Which Includes Hoboken

Attention Hoboken residents and prospective buyers. FEMA has recently updated their preliminary flood maps for four counties in the New Jersey area and this includes Hudson County of which Hoboken is a part of. FEMA released this statement on June 17, 2013:

FEMA Releases Preliminary Work Maps

for Four New Jersey Counties

“The Federal Emergency Management Agency is releasing preliminary work maps for four New Jersey counties heavily impacted by Superstorm Sandy – Hudson, Monmouth, Ocean and Atlantic.

The preliminary work maps for those counties will replace the Advisory Base Flood Elevation maps because they reflect a more precise modeling analysis of current flood hazards, including wave analysis, and a more detailed study of other specific conditions that could affect flood risk.

FEMA is working closely with New Jersey’s local and state officials to provide the most accurate updated flood risk information to those individuals who need it as they make decisions about rebuilding their homes.

Revision of these maps is an ongoing process leading to the final Flood Insurance Rate Maps. The final maps will incorporate previous data and add more details about specific flood risk conditions in communities throughout the state, with a priority placed on those in coastal areas facing the highest risk.

Before Superstorm Sandy struck, FEMA was in the process of updating flood hazard maps for
the New Jersey coast.

Soon after Sandy, FEMA released Advisory Base Flood Elevations which incorporated much of
the information contained in the study already under way.

Because Sandy had reshaped the coastline, not all the earlier information was applicable. The Advisory Base Flood Elevations represented the best information available at the time, and served as a guide for those who wanted to rebuild as soon as possible.

Additional information about the coastal mapping efforts and Hurricane Sandy recovery can be found on the Region 2 Coastal Analysis Mapping website: http://www.region2coastal.com.

At one point Hoboken and surrounding areas had been categorized as having much it in a category V Flood Zone which would have substantially  increased flood insurance rates. It appears that some amount of political pressure was applied to reduce the number of areas in category V flood zones including the interior of Hoboken. A quick look at the map and just about everything West of Washington Street is in a flood zone which is consistent with what happened during Hurricane Sandy. ” – End of FEMA release

The revised maps are based on a 100-year storm (i.e. a storm with a 1% chance of occurring each year), are only the latest iteration in the agency’s ongoing process of creating final Flood Insurance Rate Maps. This is something to be mindful of when purchasing a brownstone or condo in Hoboken.

Hoboken FEMA Updated Flood Map

Link to updated FEMA maps: http://fema.maps.arcgis.com/home/webmap/viewer.html?webmap=2f0a884bfb434d76af8c15c26541a545


View Larger Map

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June 6, 2013

City of Hoboken – Discounted Parking Available Due to Flash Flood Watch

Here is the latest update from the City of Hoboken due to the possibility of flooding caused by the remnants of Tropical Storm Andrea….

FLASH FLOOD WATCH IN EFFECT

AND DISCOUNTED GARAGE PARKING AVAILABLE

Hoboken Storm Flood ZonesThe remnants of Tropical Storm Andrea are currently forecast to reach our area on Friday. The National Weather Service has issued a Flash Flood Watch from Friday morning through Saturday afternoon. Rainfall rates could reach between 1 and 2 inches per hour and total up to 4 inches or more.

The City of Hoboken is taking preparations including activating the Office of Emergency Management and Community Emergency Response Team and coordinating with North Hudson Sewerage Authority. Barricades will be pre-positioned to close streets as necessary.

Residents are advised to closely monitor the storm and make appropriate preparations, including moving their vehicles from flood-prone streets. Although the exact timing and intensity of the storm is not known, if heavy rain beyond the capacity of Hoboken’s flood pump occurs during high tide, flooding is expected.

Due to the potential for flooding, the City of Hoboken is providing reduced rate parking in municipal Garage B (located on 2nd Street between Hudson and River Streets) and Garage D (215 Hudson Street) beginning Friday, June 7 at 8am through noon on Saturday, June 8th for $5 for residents who reside in flood prone areas and have a valid Resident parking permit or Temporary parking permit placard.

In addition, various privately-operated parking garages are available including:

  • Central Parking (50 Bloomfield St)
  • Central Parking (77 Park Ave)
  • Central Parking Systems (1 Washington St)
  • Central Parking Systems (50 Bloomfield St)
  • Propark America (1125 Maxwell Ln)
  • Propark America (1450 Bloomfield St)
  • Sylvan Parking (800 Jefferson St)
  • Sylvan Sky Garage LLC (125 Marshall St)
  • Sylvan Sky Garage (700 1st St)
  • SJP Garage (111 River St)
  • Newport Mall Parking Garages – Main/West Garage, North Garage, South Garage (49 Mall Drive West, Jersey City)

Residents who have a Resident parking permit or Temporary parking permit are reminded that overnight parking from 8pm to 8am is available every day in Municipal Garages B, D (215 Hudson St), and Midtown (371 4th St) for $5.

A map of flood-prone areas and additional information is available on the City website: www.hobokennj.org/flooding.

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Tropical Storm Andrea Could Cause Flash Flooding in Hoboken Through Saturday

NWS Precipitation Forecast June 6-9 2013 East Coast - Tropical Storm Andrea

Hoboken could see heavy rainfall and flash flooding until this Saturday as the result of Tropical storm Andrea which is currently located near Florida. The storm is predicted to dump at least several inches in the area and thus the flash flood warnings throughout New Jersey and the Metro New York area. Below is the forecast for Hoboken as of 3:50pm and the flash flood warnings from the National Weather Service….

HOBOKEN, NJ 07030

  • Thursday Night: Rain, mainly after 10pm. The rain could be heavy at times. Low around 61. East wind around 11 mph. Chance of precipitation is 80%. New precipitation amounts between a half and three quarters of an inch possible.
  • Friday Daytime: Rain. The rain could be heavy at times. High near 71. East wind around 9 mph. Chance of precipitation is 90%. New precipitation amounts between three quarters and one inch possible.
  • Friday Night: Rain. The rain could be heavy at times. Low around 63. North wind 11 to 14 mph. Chance of precipitation is 90%. New precipitation amounts between 1 and 2 inches possible.
  • Saturday Daytime: A chance of showers before noon, then a slight chance of showers after 2pm. Partly sunny, with a high near 78. Northwest wind around 6 mph becoming south in the afternoon. Chance of precipitation is 30%.
  • Saturday Night: A slight chance of showers before midnight. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 63. Chance of precipitation is 20%.

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN NEW YORK HAS ISSUED A FLASH FLOOD WATCH

For Portions Of Southern Connecticut… Northeast New Jersey And Southeast New York…Including The Following Areas…In Southern Connecticut…Northern Fairfield…Northern Middlesex…Northern New Haven…Northern New London…Southern Fairfield…Southern Middlesex… Southern New Haven And Southern New London. In Northeast New Jersey…Eastern Bergen…Eastern Essex…Eastern Passaic… Eastern Union…Hudson…Western Bergen…Western Essex… Western Passaic And Western Union. In Southeast New York… Bronx…Kings (Brooklyn)…New York Manhattan)…Northeastern Suffolk…Northern Nassau…Northern Queens…Northern Westchester…Northwestern Suffolk…Orange…Putnam… Richmond (Staten Island)…Rockland…Southeastern Suffolk… Southern Nassau…Southern Queens…Southern Westchester And Southwestern Suffolk.

* From Friday Morning Through Saturday Afternoon.

* The Remnants Of Tropical System Andrea…Combined With A System Moving In From The West Will Bring Widespread Rain Across The Tri State Area Beginning Late Tonight And Lasting Until Saturday. Rainfall Amounts Between 2 And 4 Inches Are Forecasted…With The Heaviest Rain Expected Friday Afternoon Through Early Saturday Morning. Maximum Hourly Rates Could Reach Between 1 And 2 Inches.

* These Rainfall Amounts Could Lead To Flash Flooding Of Urban And Poor Drainage Areas…As Well As Small Stream Flash Flooding. Main Stream Rivers Should Remain Within Their Banks. It Should Be Stressed That While We Are Expecting A Prolonged Period Of Rainfall…The Main Concern During This Time Period Will Be Flashy Responses Across The Urban Areas And Small Streams.

 

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June 4, 2013

Hoboken Community Update from Mayor Zimmer

Filed under: City Of Hoboken News,Hoboken — Tags: , , , , , — TheBoken @ 3:40 PM

Here is the latest communique from Mayor Dawn Zimmer on happenings in Hoboken…..

Hoboken City Hall Closeup HDR

Dear Residents:

This is a big week for Hoboken. Here’s a snapshot on the issues.

Flood Pump:
The pre-application for a second flood pump has been submitted to the NJ Environmental Infrastructure Trust fund.

1600 Park:
The City received a $200,000 grant from the US Soccer Foundation for the field to be turfed, which is fortunate because it will cost more than anticipated to install the lights due to the soft soil conditions revealed by recent boring tests.

The process of installing the lights is extremely delicate because the drilling will take place within 2 feet of a water main and 4 feet of a gas line. We are also working with PSEG to have the electricity rerouted so a large crane can install the pipes.

Even though we received the grant, the City Council must approved a change order and an emergency appropriation so we can access the grant. Since this ultimately will not cost Hoboken taxpayers any additional money, I am confident the Council will vote on Wednesday to get this important project done. Here’s a memo on all the change orders for this project: www.hobokennj.org/docs/mayor/Memo-Zimmer-Council-6-3-13.pdf.

Southwest Park:
This Wednesday, the Council will be asked to approve a higher offer for Block 12, the one-acre anchor property for a larger Southwest Park. As part of the ongoing litigation process, the City felt it was necessary to update the 2011 appraisal on which the previous offer was based. The increased offer reflects the fair market value based on the new up-to-date appraisal.

County budget hearing in Hoboken:
The proposed County budget includes a significant increase to Hoboken’s county tax. The increase is due both to the State-mandated formula used to allocate each municipality’s share of the total tax burden and also to a five percent increase in the overall County tax levy.

While Hoboken’s municipal tax levy has been reduced by 10 percent over the past 4 years, the County levy has increased by almost 20 percent during the same period. This year’s budget includes a 5 percent increase.

Hoboken residents should take advantage of this opportunity to learn about the County budget and respectfully express their opinions on this issue. This meeting is happening thanks to a joint request by Weehawken Mayor Turner, Secaucus Mayor Gonnelli and me. Thank you to Councilman Mello for suggesting the idea, and thank you to the County and the Freeholders for giving Hoboken residents this opportunity. The hearings start at 6:00pm on Thursday, June 6 in the Council Chambers at City Hall. Afterwards, members of the public will each have 5 minutes to speak.

Traffic signal at Jackson & Newark:
The County plans to complete its installation of the traffic light at Jackson Street and Newark Street by the end of June. This is expected to improve circulation into Hoboken by providing a green left turn phase for cars turning onto Jackson Street. The previous changes made to lower Jackson Street have reduced accidents by nearly half compared to before on-street parking was added. Active evaluation of this intersection and area will continue after the light is installed to determine if additional changes need to be made.

Post-Sandy Grant workshop for business by the EDA:
Local businesses are eligible for grants up to $50,000. The State Economic Development Authority will be in Hoboken to explain the process and answer all questions. All businesses impacted by Sandy are encouraged to attend the workshop on June 11 at 5:00pm in the basement floor conference room in City Hall. For questions, call 1-855-SANDY-BZ.

CDBG Grants Available for Homeowners:
Online FAQ’s are available to answer questions for grant programs (up to $150,000) available to homeowners: http://renewjerseystronger.org/rrem/frequently-asked-questions-for-rrem/ and http://renewjerseystronger.org/resettlement/frequently-asked-questions-about-the-resettlement-program/. For questions, call 1-855-726-3946. We are working on setting up a similar workshop for residents.

Sincerely,

Mayor Zimmer

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May 23, 2013

RE.invest Initiative Announces Partnership with Hoboken to Build More Resilient Stormwater Systems

Filed under: City Of Hoboken News,Hoboken — Tags: , , , , — TheBoken @ 11:10 AM

RE.invest, with Corporate Partners, Will Help Hoboken and Seven Other Cities

Develop Options for Financing and Building Better Systems;

As Severe Weather Events Increase in Intensity, More Cities Need Improvements to Water Systems

Lackawanna Plaza Flooded Hurricane Sandy 10-29-2012 9-30am #4

Washington, DC- May 22, 2013- In the aftermath of the devastation wrought by Hurricane Sandy, the RE.invest Initiative today announced it has selected Hoboken, New Jersey and seven other partner cities across the country to help develop resilient urban stormwater infrastructure systems. The two-year initiative, which is funded by the Rockefeller Foundation, will help cities like Hoboken rethink the way they design, plan, implement and finance urban infrastructure. By helping cities use public resources more efficiently and attract new sources of private investment, RE.invest will reduce the burden placed on city personnel and public budgets.

The RE.invest Initiative announced that the partner cities, in addition to Hoboken are: San Francisco, CA; Miami Beach, FL; Honolulu, HI; New Orleans, LA; El Paso, TX; Norfolk, VA; and Milwaukee, WI. Their website is at: http://www.reinvestinitiative.org/

“We are thrilled to be one of the first cities in the country chosen for this innovative partnership to develop and finance sustainable solutions to address our flooding, transportation, and other infrastructure challenges,” said Hoboken Mayor Dawn Zimmer. “The tremendous technical and financial guidance provided through the RE.invest Initiative will facilitate Hoboken becoming a more resilient community.”

“Hurricane Sandy was a tragic reminder of how vulnerable our city infrastructure systems can be. That is why it is critical that cities have the tools and strategies not just to respond to disaster but to plan for whatever contingency,” said Dr. Judith Rodin, President of the Rockefeller Foundation. “The Rockefeller Foundation has been committed to building the resilience of cities for the last few years, including our recent announcement of the 100 resilient cities centennial challenge. We are proud to continue that work by supporting RE.invest to help eight cities take the next step toward implementing improved stormwater infrastructure systems, but more importantly to help the cities take the next step in building a more resilient future.”

“Hurricane Sandy was a wake-up call that cities across the U.S. need to protect their communities from the devastating impacts of future storms. Recent reports indicate 11 billion gallons of untreated waste water was released due to surges during just that storm,” said Shalini Vajjhala of c.dots development, the lead on the RE.invest Initiative. “Our goal is to prevent the kind of destruction that is caused by these terrible storms, which are increasing in intensity. Together with our corporate partners, we are going to help cities mobilize significant investments to reduce costs for these important projects. We also want to connect cities with project developers and potential investors as they undertake critical infrastructure investments.”

Participating cities will receive technical assistance from engineering, law and finance experts at Bechtel; Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP; and Wall Street Without Walls. These firms will play a collaborative role with the cities by providing expertise and technical support. One of the primary goals of RE.invest is to shape a new model for collaboration between private investors, private sector and municipalities that can support learning, flexibility and continuous improvement in infrastructure delivery.

Sustainable stormwater infrastructure systems are networks made up of many component parts, such as green rooftops, trees, wetlands and repaved roads that feature more permeable surfaces that result in less runoff. Partners will identify news ways to bundle revenue streams so cities can effectively work with private investors and the private sector to make smart improvements to their local infrastructure. For example, perhaps a broadband company is looking to install underground lines which will require construction and the roads will need to be repaved. RE.invest will help cities and private sector partners connect the dots to see if power lines could be buried when the road is opened up and make sure the road is repaved with more absorbent asphalt to reduce water runoff during future storms.

“Smart planning, innovation and an integrated approach are key to developing the sustainable infrastructure necessary to enhance the social and economic fabric of America’s great cities,” said Walker Kimball, Managing Director, Infrastructure, Bechtel. “We are looking forward to using our technical know-how, our history of applying creative thinking to infrastructure planning, and our ability to help make projects become a reality. We are delighted to be part of this initiative that will identify innovative solutions and more efficient delivery options for the challenges of tomorrow.”

The rehabilitation and upkeep of our nation’s urban storm and waste water systems is of great importance, and we are thrilled to be part of the RE.invest Initiative to help these cities attract this much-needed investment,” said Susan Lent, a partner at Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP, which is providing legal counsel to the RE.invest Initiative. “Successful public-private partnerships demand knowledge of the political landscape, an awareness of regulatory requirements, public sector support and an ability to identify revenue streams and innovative approaches to project delivery. We are excited to be able to bring our experience to the table on this crucial project.”

“The RE.invest initiative is a smart approach for cities looking to improve vital infrastructure in a way that attracts new sources of private investment. We are excited to support the effort by providing the type of credible financial experts who will think creatively about ways to invest in the resilience of our communities,” said John Nelson, Managing Partner of Wall Street Without Walls, which is providing financial counsel to the RE.invest Initiative. “Hopefully the partner cities involved in the RE.invest initiative will be so successful, cities across America will follow their example and decide to invest in a more sustainable future.”

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May 16, 2013

Mayor Zimmer to Represent the City of Hoboken at UN Conference

Filed under: City Of Hoboken News,Hoboken — Tags: , , , , , , — TheBoken @ 4:20 PM

Mayor Dawn Zimmer is being recognized by the American Society of Civil Engineers her work during Hurricane Sandy with the “Service to the People Award” and a trip that won’t cost the taxpayer UN for Mayor Zimmer to attend the Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction conference in Geneva, Switzerland. Perhaps our Mayor will bring back some useful knowledge on flood prevention and other infrastructure issues.

MAYOR ZIMMER TO REPRESENT CITY OF HOBOKEN AT UNITED NATIONS CONFERENCE

Stevens Professor and Mayor Honored by NJ Chapter of American Society of Civil Engineers

Mayor Dawn Zimmer ASCE Geneva

Mayor Mayor Dawn Zimmer will be representing the City of Hoboken at a conference hosted by the United Nations next week. The UN invited Mayor Zimmer to attend the Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction conference in Geneva, Switzerland and is sponsoring her trip at no cost to the City. Mayor Zimmer will be presenting on the panel for “Building Resilience into Urban Planning and Investments.”

“I look forward to learning new ideas from mayors and other experts from around the world to help Hoboken become as resilient as possible,” said Mayor Zimmer.

In her absence, Director Leo Pellegrini and Assistant Business Administrator Stephen Marks will each serve as Acting Mayor.

Last week, the New Jersey chapter of the American Society of Civil Engineers honored Stevens Institute of Technology professor Dr. Jon K. Miller and Mayor Zimmer for their efforts related to Hurricane Sandy.

Dr. Miller was presented the “Educator of the Year” award for showing “great commitment to the advancement of knowledge of both the students of Stevens and the industry of coastal engineering in New Jersey as a whole.” In addition, “in the wake of Hurricane Sandy, Jon worked tirelessly to help educate the public through media interviews on the core concepts of coastal engineering.”

Mayor Zimmer received the “Service to the People Award” for providing “great leadership during Hurricane Sandy when the utility infrastructure failed, roads flooded for days, and businesses and apartments were devastated” and for being “a great advocate towards infrastructure improvements – including public supporting a micro-grid, additional pumping stations, and even storm barriers to protect Hoboken from future severe storms.”

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May 15, 2013

Hoboken Mayor Dawn Zimmer Announces Infrastructure Initiatives to Address Flooding Water and Power Systems

Filed under: City Of Hoboken News,Flooding,Hoboken — Tags: , , , , — TheBoken @ 1:10 PM

Last month there were a bunch of water main breaks in Hoboken that brought attention to its aging infrasturture. Here are the latest developments from the desk of the Mayor that will hopefully be able to improve this problem…

MAYOR ZIMMER ANNOUNCES INFRASTRUCTURE INITIATIVES

TO ADDRESS FLOODING, WATER & POWER SYSTEMS

cityhallphoto

Mayor Dawn Zimmer was joined by officials from North Hudson Sewerage Authority and United Water today to announce major initiatives to upgrade Hoboken’s infrastructure and address flooding, water distribution, and power resiliency.

Mayor Zimmer announced a partnership with North Hudson Sewerage Authority (NHSA) to build Hoboken’s second wet weather flood pump in order to further alleviate Hoboken’s 200 year flooding problem. The City and NHSA will work together to apply for a low interest $9 million loan from the New Jersey Environmental Infrastructure Trust. The City would pay for and own the pump, while NHSA has agreed to pay for the engineering, permitting, loan application preparation, and operations and maintenance, a contribution estimated at nearly $5 million over 20 years. The pump, with a capacity of 50 million gallons per day, would further alleviate flooding in Western Hoboken.

The City has reached an agreement with United Water through which the water utility will pay for the costs of conducting a complete master plan of Hoboken’s water distribution infrastructure. The plan will provide a prioritized schedule for upgrading the City’s water distribution system. In order to fund these capital improvements, the City is also in the process of renegotiating the existing agreement with United Water – a 30 year agreement that was entered into in 1994 which did not provide any planning or funding for non-emergency infrastructure upgrades.

To improve the City’s resiliency to power outages, the City of Hoboken is entering into a partnership with the U.S. Department of Energy, Sandia National Laboratories, and PSE&G to design an energy resilient “smart grid.” The design methodology uses advanced, smart grid technologies and distributed and renewable generation and storage resources as a way to improve the reliability, security, and resiliency of the electric grid. The City of Hoboken will be one of the first non-military applications of this methodology from Sandia National Laboratories.

Flooding:

Flooding remains one of Hoboken’s historic challenges. Parts of the city, which were previously tidal marshes, still lie below the level of the Hudson River at high tide. As a result, when strong storms occur at high tide, the water cannot drain into the river by gravity, and it backs up, flooding streets. To alleviate the flooding, the stormwater must either be prevented from entering the sewer system or pumped out more quickly than it enters.

The City is pursuing both approaches – through the installation of additional pumps and through “green” technologies to divert, capture and store stormwater. In addition to pursuing the installation of the second flood pump, the City is supporting the North Hudson Sewerage Authority’s Hazard Mitigation funding application for additional pumps. The City has also submitted its own grant applications for Hazard Mitigation funds to acquire land for three parks in western Hoboken. Hoboken was awarded a technical assistance grant to study the feasibility of building large underground detention basins under these parks to store stormwater runoff. Similarly, Mayor Zimmer has suggested to NJ Transit that the agency consider converting the Long Slip Canal just south of Hoboken Terminal into an additional stormwater detention system.

During Hurricane Sandy, Hoboken flooded because the storm surge caused the Hudson River to flow into the City from low lying areas in the south, including through the Long Slip Canal, and from the north. The City has applied for $44 million in Hazard Mitigation funding for a system of flood barriers, berms and gates at the north and south to protect the city from future tidal surges. The City is working to have its plan incorporated into the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers regional study. If a flood protection plan receives the approval of the Army Corps and the City is designated a “Shaded X” area, property owners in that area will no longer be required to purchase flood insurance.

Hoboken was one of three recipients of a grant from Together North Jersey for technical assistance to develop a Green Infrastructure Strategic Plan. The plan will develop stormwater management and flood control strategies, strategize key updates to the aging water system, look for ways to improve the resiliency of transit infrastructure, and identify important steps to help plan for climate adaptation. Through the Planning Board and input from the public, the City is developing a sustainability plan (Green Building & Environmental Sustainability Plan Element of the Master Plan) that will provide guidance for stormwater management, utilities, infrastructure and other sustainability priorities.

In addition to applying for funding that would enable the City to create detention systems under newly purchased open space, the City is pursuing a variety of other green initiatives to address flooding. Hoboken was recently awarded a grant to install rain garden curb extensions to capture stormwater runoff and has incorporated rain gardens in designs of new parks. The City legalized the use of rain barrels in 2011 and has required the use of green roofs in redevelopment areas to minimize runoff. The Shade Tree Commission completed a pilot program to expand tree pits and install new street trees along Washington Street between 1stStreet and 2nd Street, setting standards for other property owners. The Commission will launch a program to encourage more property owners to install street trees, which play an important role in reducing stormwater runoff.

Power:

The City has applied for approximately $2 million in Hazard Mitigation grants to install permanent emergency backup generators at critical community facilities including the Hoboken Volunteer Ambulance Corps, City Hall, Fire Headquarters and stations, Police Headquarters, the Public Works Garage, Multi-Service Center, Wallace School (shelter), and radio repeaters for the Police and Fire Departments. The City strongly supports PSE&G’s proposal to consolidate Hoboken’s three substations into two and to elevate and protect the remaining two substations from flooding.

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May 9, 2013

Hoboken Flood Mitigation Solutions from QLC Hoboken

Filed under: Flooding,floods,Hoboken — Tags: , , , — TheBoken @ 12:25 PM
The QLC’s Committee for a Green Hoboken http://www.qlchoboken.org   has sent out his informative email to remind Hoboken resident as to what they can do to help flood mitigation efforts in Hoboken.
Blue Rain Barrell
Well, it’s springtime in Hoboken which means beautiful weather….followed by flooding.  This morning we got a reminder that there is still a lot of work to be done.  Attached and below are tips to prevent and deal with flooding at your home and business:

How to prevent and/or contain flooding on your property:

Make sure you have a sump pump installed and tested to ensure it is working properly.

  • For a typical single family to 4-unit building, the pump should be sized for at least 3,600 gallons per hour.
  • Consider a battery-operated backup, in case of a power failure. Installing a water alarm will also let you know if water is accumulating in your basement.

Make sure you have a spare, portable sump pump on hand for when flooding does occur.

  • 3,600 gallon per hour pumps are available at most local hardware & plumbing stores, Home Depot, Lowes and Grainger for approximately $150.00.
  • Be sure to include a hose and an electrical extension cord for an additional $20.00.

Important Note: Do not leave the electrical connection outdoors, submerged in water or exposed to moisture.

Install a back flow preventer (aka check valve) on your sewer line before it enters your building.

  • Cast Iron is recommend and available from most local plumbing supply stores, Home Depot, Lowes and Grainger for approximately $199.99
  • PVC is lower cost option at approximately $59.99, although not as durable as cast iron.
  • Be sure to use a licensed plumber and have the plumber obtain the necessary permit from the Hoboken Construction Office, located on the ground floor of city hall.  Including permits, installation should cost approximately $300.00 to $550.00 above the cost of the device, but is well worth the investment.

A cleanout access door must be installed adjacent to the backflow preventer and checked at least everything three (3) months to prevent blockages (i.e. toilet papers and other debris).

Have sand bags (aka tube sand, mason sand, etc.) on hand and ready to create a flood barrier around your property.  Sand bags are available at Home Depot and Lowes for approximately $3.99 per 50 pound bag.

  • Be sure not to located sand bag barriers against doors which are used as a means of egress.

Have removable flood gates on hand, preferably installed prior to the storm, to prevent floor waters from infiltrating your property.

  • Gates can be ordered from local door & hardware stores, starting at approximately $250.
  • Be sure not to block means of egress from the building.

Raise your electrical components (switches, sockets, circuit breakers, and wiring) at least 12 inches above your home’s projected flood elevation.  In basements, consider installing electrical equipment 48” above the floor.

Place the furnace, water heater, washer, and dryer on cement blocks at least 12 inches from your home’s projected flood elevation.

Replace existing concrete in front of your building by installing a tree pit.  The pit will allow storm water to be naturally absorbed by the soil and tree, and remove ease the burden on the sewer system.

  • Total cost should be approximately $350 to $500 using a local, professional landscaper.
  • The pit should be 5’ x 5’ and no less than 3’ x 3’ to allow the tree roots to establish and grow, but must still allow a 3’ to 6’ path for pedestrians.
  • A permit can be obtained by simply faxing or hand delivering the completed one (1) page permit application to the Department of Environmental Services.  A permit is normally granted within 48 hours.
  • Tree permits can be download at: http://www.hobokennj.org/docs/board/stc/HPU_Tree_Permit_2011-10.pdf

Install a rain barrel to collect run off from your roof (minimum 50 gallons).  The water can be held until the storm subsides, and/or used later for irrigation.

  • A variety of rain barrels are available at Home Depot, Lowes and online.
  • The prices will range from approximately $50 to $350 depending on size and aesthetic look.
  • Be sure to install a filter to prevent mosquitos from entering the barrel and laying eggs.
  • Adding certain fish, such as goldfish, to open rain barrels will eliminate new mosquito eggs from hatching (the fish eat them) and provides a nice outdoor feature.
  • Also be sure to empty and disconnect your barrel in the winter to prevent damage from freezing.

Install a drywell.

  • Pipe your roof gutter and drainage system to a drywell, which will then overflow to the sewer system.  While the cost is significantly higher than a rain barrel (typically starting at $1,000), a drywell will hold hundreds to thousands of gallons and allow the stormwater to naturally infiltrate the soil.

Minimize water use during intense storms; if the sewer is overflowing the water will not be able to leave your building and will most likely result in a flood.

Install low flow fixtures to reduce the amount of water being added to the overburdened sewer system, for example:

  • Dual flush toilets, or toilets with a maximum flow rate of 1.28 gallons per flush.
  • Bathroom faucets with 0.5 gallon per minute aerator.
  • Kitchen faucets with maximum 1.5 gallon per minute
  • Showerheads with a maximum 1.75 gallons per minute.
  • EnergyStar rated and/or front loading washing machines.
  • EnergsStar rated dishwashers.

Replace your sidewalk and driveways with pervious pavement, which allows water to infiltrate naturally into the soil below.

  • The approximate cost will be between $6 and $25 per square foot, depending on product type and aesthetics.
  • There are lower cost options available such as Grasspaver® and Driveable Grass® which can be planted to add a splash of color; the vegetation will also provide a cooling effect in the summer.  Be sure to plant low maintenance sedums which do not require cutting and can stand up to foot traffic.

Install a green roof (aka vegetated roof).

  • New construction or renovation projects should include adding minimum of 4” soil and low maintenance sedum to the roof, which will absorb stormwater and slowly evaporate back to the atmosphere.  This not only keeps the rain out of the sewer, but helps insulate your building, prolongs the life of the roof membrane and provides a cooling effect in the summer.
  • Existing buildings should look at lightweight green roof systems, such as GaiaSoil.
  • The installed cost will be approximately $6 to $30 per square foot, depending on soil depth and plant variety.

Install ground level landscaping.

  • Replacing any hardscape (stone, concrete, asphalt, etc) with vegetation and soil will absorb stormwater and ease the burden on the sewer system during intense storms.

When cleaning up after the flood:

  • Be sure to mop up and wash down any affected surfaces using bleach, antimicrobial soap or other disinfectant.
  • Open windows and set up blower fans to accelerate the drying process.
  • Open up any drywalled areas to allow the wall cavities to properly dry out.
  • Any materials that have been wet for more than 24 to 48 hours after the flood are at a high risk of growing mold and should be treated by a mold specialist or discarded.
  • Contact a local Certified Industrial Hygeniest to test the air and surfaces for E. Coli, mold and other dangerous pathogens.
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April 15, 2013

FBW’s first event in a series on storm mitigation in Hoboken to open on April 18 7-10pm

The Fund for a Better Waterfront is introducing the first of a series of events regarding flood mitigation in Hoboken in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy…

FBW’s first event in a series on storm mitigation to open on April 18

Reception: Thursday, April 18 – 7 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.
Exhibit: Friday, April 19 through Sunday, April 21 12:00 to 6:00 p.m.
Location: Proto Gallery, 66 Willow Avenue, Hoboken, New Jersey

FBW The Next Storm Hoboken 4-18-2013The Fund for a Better Waterfront is organizing a series of events, The Storm Next Time: Will Hoboken Be Ready?, designed to provide Hoboken’s residents with on-going access to current information on the scope of the problem and the progress we’re making toward creating and implementing cost-effective solutions.

The first event of the series titled, “Defining the Problem” will take place at the Proto Gallery, 66 Willow Avenue in Hoboken. The event opens with a reception and presentation on Thursday, April 18 at 7:00 p.m. Following is a 3-day exhibit running from Friday, April 19 through Sunday, April 21 from 12:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.

Thursday night, several people will tell their personal stories of how they were impacted by superstorm Sandy. The exhibit will display flood maps that demonstrate the impact of various flooding scenarios on Hoboken. In addition, the gallery will showcase possible prevention and mitigation solutions used to protect low-lying areas around the world.

The exhibit will conclude on Sunday, April 21 with a screening of The Big Uneasy, a film that documents the events that led to the tragic flooding in New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina. The film will be shown at 4:00 p.m.

Super-storm Sandy flooded 70% of Hoboken’s landmass. By the time it reached our shores, it had been downgraded to a tropical storm. Imagine the amount of damage and flooding had Sandy, upon landfall, remained a category 1 or category 2 hurricane or worse.

As Sandy demonstrated, Hoboken is frighteningly vulnerable to significant rain and wind driven storms. We are afflicted with low elevations, antiquated infrastructure and proximity to the sea. Add to that the scientific consensus that climate change will continue to produce rising sea levels and extreme weather events of increasing frequency.

Upcoming events that will be part of this series will focus on solutions in New Orleans, the Netherlands, New York City and elsewhere with panels of the world’s leading experts.

The event, catered by Zafra Kitchens, is free and open to the public. RSVP to attend the reception on Thursday, April 18 at fbw@betterwaterfront.org.

For more information go to www.betterwaterfront.org.

 

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December 13, 2012

Flashback Photo of the Day- Observer Highway Lake in Hoboken

Filed under: Hoboken,Hurricane Sandy,Photo Of The Day — Tags: , , , — TheBoken @ 8:25 AM

Photo of the Day- Observer Highway Lake in Hoboken

The waters have receded since Hurricane Sandy and Hoboken is still recovering. This photo is from after Hurricane Sandy hit Hoboken taken on Tuesday October 30th and shows the extensive flooding on Observer Highway due to the storm surge the day after. Can you believe NJ Transit still wants to add thousands more residents along this stretch of road just to help fund their transport hub? I can’t but the NJ Transit organization is hungry for revenue. We will have to see how that develops but Sandy could be a game changer with respect to those ambitious plans. TheBoken.com still has a bunch of post Hurricane Sandy photos but thought this would be one to put on the record as a cautionary tale of over development.

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