The event was held on the Weehawken Cove Riverwalk in northeastern Hoboken. During Hurricane Sandy, the cove was a key breach point through which the storm surge entered Hoboken and southern Weehawken. As part of Hoboken’s “Resist, Delay, Store, Discharge” flood prevention plan, it will be the site of a new park that is designed to retain groundwater.
Mayor Dawn Zimmer thanked Menendez, along with U.S. Sen. Cory Booker and Rep. Albio Sires (D – 8th) for the letters of support they wrote to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) in support of Hoboken’s Rebuild by Design bid.
Menendez’s expressed hopes that Hoboken’s project can be replicated nationwide in dense urban areas with flooding issues.
“If we are looking for programs that can be national models, this is one of them,” he said. Unlike buildings in suburban and rural areas, said Menendez, Hoboken’s apartments and brownstones “simply cannot be elevated out of harm’s way.”
Menendez said he is not yet satisfied with the amount of funding New Jersey has received for flood prevention, though the Obama administration has assured him that “more Sandy money will be flowing [it’s] way.” HUD recently decided to devote an additional $180 million in funding to the Sandy region. New Jersey is also eligible to apply for more funding through the recently announced $1 billion National Disaster Resilience Competition. – Carlo Davis