HOBOKEN – In response to increased flooding issues since Hurricane Sandy in October, Mayor Dawn Zimmer announced Wednesday morning a plan to install a $9 million emergency flood pump station on 11th Street near the Hudson River which she said would help alleviate the city’s nearly 200-year-old flooding problem.
Touting the success of a similar pump which was built on Observer Highway following Hurricane Irene in 2011, Zimmer said that the second pump, which has already been designed by the North Hudson Sewerage Authority (NHSA), will lessen flooding on the northwest end of the city.
The pump will tentatively have a capacity of 50 million gallons per day, and would be most effective at mitigating flooding that results from heavy rain storms which occur during high tide, like last week’s floods.
The city will take out a low-interest loan from the New Jersey Environmental Infrastructure Trust to cover the cost of the pump, pending the approval of the City Council, which is expected to vote on the measure at a Wednesday night meeting. The city would own the pump, though NHSA has agreed to pay for the engineering permits, as well as the pump’s operation and maintenance costs – an estimated $4.8 million over the next 20 years.
Following Hurricane Sandy, the administration filed grant applications with the Federal Emergency Management Agency to build three new pumps, including the one on 11th Street. However, after Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno said during a visit to Hoboken this week that the city’s applications would be treated equally to applications by other New Jersey municipalities, Zimmer said she could not wait any longer.
“Like [Guadagno] said, this is going to take time, and the reality is that a lot of needs will be unmet because of limited funding,” said Zimmer. “We are demonstrating to the state and the federal government that we are willing to be partners.”
Look for more details in this weekend’s edition of The Hoboken Reporter. – Dean DeChiaro