Posts Tagged ‘flooding’

Hoffman Grove slowly slips away

I first wrote about Hoffman Grove back in 2006 when I explored the area after one of the homes there was listed in the paper for sale. $200K for a house in Wayne? Yeah, what’s the catch? Oh yeah… constant flooding. Read the original post for the full story, but I found much had changed since I last visited in 2008. here’s some pics. At that time the community was still vibrant and most had refused to be bought out. There was an attitude of “this is what we have to put up with” and the desire to stay was string. After several floods in 2008, the state took action and in 2009, 36 homes were slated to be bought out.. There were several bad floods in early 2011, but Hurricane irene in August of 2011 was the final blow. FEMA stepped in and most of the remaining homes were bought out.

I took a visit to Hoffman grove this morning and what I saw was depressing. There were still many homes left, but most had plywood over the 1st level windows. Some had them over the doors and garage entrances as well. Yet I could clearly see curtains and items inside the 2nd floor windows. And some had cars in front of them. After driving around several times it became clear: cars meant there was a current resident. No cars meant no one was there and never would be again. Many left behind gas grills, toys, lawn furniture and other personal possessions. Saddest of all was the sight of this flag, upside down, the official sign for distress.

here are some pictures I took, the rest are on Flickr

36 more homes to be torn down in Hoffman grove

Part of federal buyout plan

IN A MATTER of weeks, 36 homes in Wayne will no longer exist, and, uncharacteristically for New Jersey, nothing will be built in their place. These are houses whose home is a flood plain — first to fill with water from the Pompton River, last to dry. For years, residents in the Hoffman Grove neighborhood have endured the river’s swell, their homes overtaken by the flow, then left damp and moldy in the ebb.

More than inconvenient, the area is seen as dangerous to residents and first responders, and expensive to insure. And so begins part two of the biggest home buyout in the state, in which Wayne pays market rate for 105 houses located well within the Passaic River basin. “If we save one life, we are making a truly significant impact,” Sgt. 1st Class Robert Little of the state Office of Emergency Management told The Record.

And that makes it worth every penny. Wayne has spent $500,000 of its own money so far, and $10.5 million in federal and state funds. The first phase of the buyout last year resulted in 34 houses being razed. There are about 105 houses in all. Flooding is also expensive. Wayne takes second place in the state for property lost in flooding, Staff Writer Andrea Alexander wrote Friday. Atlantic City is first. In 2007, the year of the terrible April nor’easter, the National Flood Insurance Program paid $152.6 million for more than 7,000 claims made by New Jersey residents. Returning Hoffman Grove to its natural state is the only answer.

Different plans to deal with flooding at very different levels of completion

Plans hope to avoid disatrous floods such as from Hurricane Floyd

As the muddy river reached for the traffic lights, residents of both towns were rescued from rooftops. Bound Brook borough became a boundless brook, as water from the Raritan River gushed onto Main Street in Somerset County’s oldest community, reaching heights of 10 feet and flooding more than 800 homes. In neighboring Manville, water reached up to 17 feet as homes came off foundations and stranded residents were plucked from their homes by helicopter and boat.

The chaotic event — Tropical Storm Floyd of September 1999 — mobilized both boroughs to intensify their flood control efforts. But nearly a decade later, it has become a tale of two flood-prone towns. Bound Brook, as part of the Green Brook Flood Control Project, has benefited from a line of flood walls and levees along the Green and Vosseller brooks. In ad dition, there have been channel modifications, deepened drains, widened banks, water control roller gates and the reconstruction of the old East Main Street bridge between Bound Brook and Middlesex borough to allow a greater volume of flood water.

Protective walls were built around an East Street apartment complex, and levees, flood walls and a pump station are being built along the southern side of Bound Brook, from the Talmage Avenue bridge to South Main Street. And new Congressman Leonard Lance made a point of stopping in Bound Brook on the first day of his district work week Tuesday to take a tour and tell Mayor Carey A. Pi lato he would advocate for the critical final $23 million stage of Bound Brook’s $113 million flood control project.

The same day, President Barack Obama signed into law a stimulus package. The project was included among Army Corps requests for federal stimulus money. “This,” Lance said, “is a classic example of a shovel-ready project.” Meanwhile, in neighboring Manville, the amount of federal funds allocated for fiscal year 2009 for the Stony Brook-Millstone River basin flood control project was zero dollars. The difference, said US Army Corps of Engineers project manager John O’Connor, is that Bound Brook started the clock on its flood control efforts after the big flood of 1973, when six people were killed, 1,000 people evacuated and President Richard Nixon declared it a disaster area….

Flooding on Delaware river prompts group to demand resevoir levels be lowered

They believe lower levels will help avoid floods like those that have done millions of dollars in damages and killed several people.

Environmental groups and residents fearful of flooding along the Delaware River are asking for more water to be released from three upstate New York reservoirs. Seven groups sent a letter to New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and the governors of Delaware, New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania, asking that the water level be reduced “to the maximum extent feasible” for about a month. The mayor and governors jointly control the operation of the three reservoirs, the Pepacton, Cannonsville and Neversink. Three major floods between 2004 and 2006 caused several deaths and tens of millions of dollars in property damage along the Delaware, mostly in Pennsylvania and New Jersey.

The reservoirs were at or near capacity just before all three floods. Unable to store water from torrential rains, they sent billions of gallons down the river and into homes and businesses. Since then, groups have been closely monitoring the reservoir levels and have repeatedly sought to have them lowered. The reservoirs, which can store a combined 271 billion gallons of water, provide drinking water to 9 million people in the Delaware River basin. New York City has sought to keep them as full as possible as a hedge against drought. On Friday, the Pepacton and Neversink were full and Cannonsville was 98 percent full.

The New York City Department of Environmental Protection was reviewing the groups’ letter, which was dated Dec. 22.
“We’re always looking for ways to be helpful as long as the critical mission of providing drinking water for 9 million people is not put at risk,” said department spokeswoman Mercedes Padilla. “We’ve taken significant steps to provide for flood attenuation and habitat protection.” Barry Ciccocioppo, spokesman for Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell, said the governor saw no need for emergency action.
The authors of the letter were the North Delaware River Watershed Conservancy, Friends of the Upper Delaware River, Aquatic Conservation Unlimited, Delaware Riverside Conservancy, Drowning on the Delaware, Residents Against Flood Trends and Trout Unlimited.