Letters to the Editor

Solutions to Flooding Streets in East Orange

Today a notice appeared on the East Orange City Website listing the names of known locations around the city where flooding took place during the recent storms of April, 2014. These are all known locations where flooding has occured in the past and predictably will occur in the future.
What I find so disturbing about this report is the assumption that this is a recurring problem about which we can do nothing except warn residents that flooding will happen after heavy rains in those areas. This has gone on for years. Yet Mayor Lester Taylor is urging the council to pass a budget which raises property taxes in order to bring Caribbean Food and Culture to the lower Main Street area, and to "improve the quality of life in East Orange," whatever that means.
The problem of flooding is going to happen again and again unless some serious action is taken to stop it. The areas that are prone to flooding are well known and this has been going on for years. Why not take this summer to stop it once and for all? It's a matter of contouring the roads and draining away the water before it turns into a pond. In my cellar I have a sump pump that turns on when it detects water has reached a certain height, and then it begins pumping out the excess water before it can cause a flood in my cellar. I can't believe there isn't a similar pump available for city drains to divert the water away to other locations that can handle the run-off better.
As for those areas that are prone to flooding when curb storm drains become clogged with leaves and debris, the solution might be in adding screens and screen barricades around those drains. They might have to have someone in a city truck go out just prior to a known storm (we have accurate weather forecasts these days, so we are not exactly taken by surprise any more) and deposit these screen barricades around those drains which are well known for this problem. 
We need to stop reacting and start acting to solve these problems. The same is true of potholes. There are potholes around the city that have been there for years without anyone filling them in. All it takes is for people from the city who are already being paid to do this work to actually get out from behind desks, drive around, and fill every pothole they find. It's not rocket science. 

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