HOBOKEN, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — A creative plan to alleviate flooding in Hoboken could help solve problems throughout the area.
Hoboken was devastated by Superstorm Sandy and routinely is submerged by heavy rains.
“When you have a little bit of rain, you have floods,” said Hoboken resident Dionicio Ramos. “It’s really bad.”
Now, a solution is in the works, CBS 2’s Kathryn Brown reported.
A parking lot in the southwest corner of the city will soon be transformed into a park specifically designed to absorb up to five inches of rain and funnel it slowly into the underground stormwater system.
Hoboken city leaders have secured a $250,000 federal grant to help start construction.
“Got to give it a shot,” Ramos said.
The innovative idea stems from a competition called by Rebuild by Design. After Sandy hit, the group issued an open call for ideas to alleviate flooding in New Jersey, on Long Island and in New York City.
“Every one of our designs were chosen because they were replicatable in other parts of this region or other regions,” said Amy Chester, director of Rebuild by Design. “So if you look at what happens in Hoboken, it could also happen in Brooklyn, it could happen somewhere on the Jersey shore.”
City Councilman Tim Occhipinti said the innovative plans put Hoboken at the forefront of flood mitigation strategies nationwide.
“This is something that Hoboken is looking to lead the way in,” Occhipinti said.
There are similar plans in neighboring Weehawken and Jersey City to install rain gardens and special pavement that absorbs water.
When completed, the Hoboken park should ease flooding, but it will also eliminate dozens of parkings spots in a city where parking is already notoriously difficult.
“Parking is a big thing here, but I can see both sides, quite honestly,” said Cherly Bryne, who works in Hoboken.
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