HOBOKEN - Facing the distinct possibility of its third significant flooding event in less than a month, the City of Hoboken has announced proactive measures—including travel restrictions—in an effort to mitigate the impact on residents as Tropical Storm Isaias prepares to roll into the region Tuesday.
Currently parked off the northeastern coast of Florida, Isaias has the potential to strengthen to Hurricane force before barreling into the Carolinas late Monday/early Tuesday morning. At that point, the system is projected to continue northward, packing high winds and heavy bands of rain as it trudges up across the Mid-Atlantic states—likely hitting New Jersey and eventually Hudson County with winds and heavy rains.
Forecasts for our region are calling for winds in excess of 50 mph, and anywhere between 2-6 inches of rainfall Tuesday. Timing and severity are always variables in a storm like this. One thing that doesn't change is the city of Hoboken's vulnerability to flooding. Heavily developed on reclaimed marshlands at the mouth of the Hudson River by the base of the Palisades, the low-lying city often finds itself inundated by meteorological events such as this.
Tropical Storm Fay hit on July 10, followed less than two weeks later by an extremely powerful system of storms—both of which overwhelmed Hoboken's storm drainage, maintained by the North Hudson Sewerage Authority (NHSA).
"Hoboken and NHSA are beginning to prepare for Hurricane Isaias, a category 1 storm that is anticipated to impact the tri-state area early next week. Scattered strong to severe thunderstorms with rain of 2 to 4 inches and strong to damaging wind gusts are possible, with heavier amounts possible in certain areas. Any intense rainfall of greater than 0.8 inch per hour may result in flash flooding in low-lying areas," reads an alert issued by the City.
Mayor Ravi S. Bhalla and OEM Coordinator Sgt. William Montanez have instituted travel restrictions from 8 am on Tuesday until 8 am on Wednesday. Driving is prohibited except for public safety and essential services (government, utilities, medical personnel).
Areas along the western edge of town are often the first to flood. The last event saw significant damage to cars and homes, as well as drivers stranded in flood waters.
"Due to the likelihood of flooding in some areas, the Office of Emergency Management is taking precautions by putting no parking signs and barricades near flood prone intersections. 'No Parking Signs' in these areas should be taken as advisories, cars will not be towed. Please do not drive around barricades."
Historically vulnerable intersections include:
- 1st and Marshall
- 1st and Harrison
- 1st and Clinton
- 1st and Garden
- 2nd and Harrison
- 2nd and Willow
- 3rd and Grand
- 3rd and Harrison
- 3rd and Jackson
- 4th and Harrison
- 4th and Monroe
- 4th and Jackson
- 9th and Monroe
- 9th and Madison
- 10th and Madison
- Newark St and Bloomfield St
- Observer Hwy and Park Ave
- Henderson and Newark
- Grove and Newark
Reduced-rate parking is available at Hoboken municipal garages and at nearby Newport Mall.
Street sweeping regulations are suspended on Tuesday, scheduled to resume on Wednesday to allow for the clearing of debris from the street after the storm.
Outdoor dining and fitness is suspended for Tuesday. Residents and businesses are advised to secure all loose outdoor items, and people should stay indoors during the storm. With the potential for heavy flooding and power outages, residents should make preparations to have water and food for at least 72 hours. Keep flashlights and batteries handy as well.
The NHSA and City staff continue to clear catch basins this weekend. Residents concerned regarding certain catch basins encouraged call the NHSA Hotline at 866.689.3970. Any businesses or residential properties on ground or basement levels should utilize any deployable flood protection measures including sand bags, if available, to mitigate potential flood damage.
Hurricane season in the North Atlantic officially runs from June 1 through November 30—every year.