HOBOKEN, N.J. (CBSNewYork) – Superstorm Sandy caused $30 billion in damage and many communities are still recovering, seven years later. Now there’s a statewide plan in New Jersey to prepare for future storms.
After Sandy, Hoboken’s streets turned into rivers due to the storm surge. Residents were without power and transportation for days, not knowing where to get batteries or fresh food.
Seven years after the storm, Gov. Phil Murphy announced the creation of a climate and flood resilience program within the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection.
“Cannot resign ourselves to the idea that we should just wait it out to the next storm and then expect billions of dollars in insurance claims and federal assistance to allow us to rebuild. We need to be smarter,” Murphy said Tuesday.
The initiative focuses on long-term mitigation, adaptation and resilience of New Jersey’s economy, communities, infrastructure and natural resources. This is for coastal and inland areas that got hit hard during Sandy.
Through the federally funded rebuild by design program, Hoboken has already implemented methods to combat flooding.
A resiliency park on Seventh Street and Jackson Avenue has an underground retention system that can hold more than 450,000 gallons of rain water.
“One way we’re accomplishing this ambitious task is to build our parks to not only provide open space amenities, but to also withhold and store rain water to mitigate the impacts of our sewers and to help keep our streets dry,” said Hoboken Mayor Ravinder Bhalla.
PATH trains were severely impacted by Sandy. Since then, the Port Authority upgraded power substations and a seawall is being built to protect the tracks from salt water, which accelerates deterioration.
NJ TRANSIT lost hundreds of rail cars and more in Sandy. It’s now fixing the Long Slip, a canal that was inundated by the surge and contributed to the flooding of Hoboken Terminal.
Hoboken’s mayor says by shoring up the city as a whole, this vital infrastructure is comprehensively more protected.