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Hoboken Looks To Upgrade Water Main System, Address Flooding Problem

Mayor: We Are Being Proactive To Protect Our Community
Flooded street -- Park Ave. Hoboken (John Montone/1010 WINS)

Flooded street — Park Ave. Hoboken (John Montone/1010 WINS)

HOBOKEN, N.J. (CBSNewYork) – Noah built an ark, but Hoboken is taking a different approach to battle floods in the water-logged city.

Hoboken has a serious flooding problem,” Mayor Dawn Zimmer said Wednesday. “The flooding seems to be getting more and more frequent and more and more severe.”

The city is considering a comprehensive plan to hold back the waters including installing a second flood pump, constructing sea walls along the Hudson River and going “green” with rain barrels, detention basins and more trees, 1010 WINS’ Steve Sandberg reported.

“All of those things together help to reduce the amount of rainwater going into our combined sewer system,” Zimmer said. “We are being proactive to protect our community.”

Hoboken is also looking to upgrade its infrastructure in the wake of several water main breaks over the past couple of months.

Zimmer announced United Water will conduct a complete master plan of the city’s water main system to determine how to upgrade the system and how much it will cost.

“This master plan will help us to then develop a final plan going forward,” Zimmer said.

Zimmer is also looking at pushing an ordinance to fine any contractor or anyone who digs without hand tools and without first checking for a pipe.

In late March, a 30-inch water transmission main was broken when a contractor hit a pipe. That break, coupled with other bursts and leaks, left part of the city without water and forced officials to issue a boil water advisory.

Zimmer said last month that the city’s aging water infrastructure has been neglected for decades and a contract signed by city officials in the 1990s was “unbelievably shortsighted” and put off improvements in favor of plugging budget gaps.

Zimmer said the city is in the process of renegotiating the existing 30-year agreement with United Water because it does not provide any planning or funding for non-emergency infrastructure upgrades.

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