Thursday, June 14, 2012

State of New Jersey to Spend $1.2-million on Yet Another Flood Study

By Christopher Lotito
Village Road, Pequannock, NJ
days after Hurricane Irene.

To citizens forced out of their homes by flooding after 2011's Hurricane Irene, the path forward is clear: stop flooding, by levee, by flood tunnel, or by any other means, but stop the flow of floodwaters from invading our homes on a yearly basis.

The Army Corps of Engineers and New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection revealed that they may not have received the message, as they announced today that yet another $1.2-million of taxpayer monies would be spent as part of a 50/50 match to a federal grant to study flooding in the Passaic Valley.

The new study will examine numerous possibilities for addressing the flooding issue in the Passaic Valley, including "taking no action in the basin."  Other possibilities considered will be "levees, floodwalls, channel
modifications, and bridge and dam modifications."

Pequannock is uniquely positioned to take advantage of the levee or floodwall solution, should it be selected by the Army Corps of Engineers, as the Pequannock Township Council and Open Space Commission haved moved swiftly in the months following Irene to buy-out homes along the river where local flood-mitigation structures are likely to be placed.  In fact, a majority of homes directly on the river in Pequannock have been removed or are slated for removal shortly.

While the funds dedicated to the Passaic Valley flooding problem are a welcome validation of the issue, many feel that after decades of studies, these funds would be better spent on drafting plans for a specific project based upon the vast amounts of data already available on the region.  Yet another study, taking upwards of 18th months to complete and funded by the taxpayers is not the solution that most effected citizens are looking for.  There is a great sentiment that numerous excellent engineering solutions to flooding have been proposed over the last 100 years and that it's time that one of them was selected and completed.

The entire press release is available for viewing here: http://www.nj.gov/dep/newsrel/2012/12_0069.htm

Christopher Lotito is a member of the Pequannock Historic District, Open Space, and Flood Control Advisory Commissions as well as the author of  "Torrent," a book about flooding in the region.  Lotito's personal mission is to reduce new taxes, drastically reduce flooding, and preserve more green spaces for our children.  Christopher Lotito Profile

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