HUDSON COUNTY - Around 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, a powerful storm bore down on Hoboken and Jersey City, bringing torrential rains and fearsome winds. A half-hour later, the extent of flooding and other damages began to come into focus.
Jersey City Heights saw trees ripped down and flash flooding along Palisade Avenue. Hoboken's flooding was infinitely worse, as rain coming down the Viaduct caused a sewer drain at 14th & Willow to belch out water like a geyser at the storm's peak. From there, routine locations like 9th & Madison and the Southwest corner of town were underwater. Other locations that don't often see significant flooding found themselves inundated, rivaling the worst of the flooding after Tropical Storm Fay barreled through the area just a week and a half ago.
Homes were flooded, streets were flooded, cars were stranded throughout Hoboken and low-lying areas of Jersey City. Spots directly adjacent to Hoboken's resiliency parks were also under a significant amount of water.
More troubling for this storm was the fact that Hoboken's flood waters lingered for hours, indicating that drainage was an issue. Storm drains were reportedly cleared by the North Hudson Sewerage Authority (NHSA) after Fay hit on July 10. Footage from this morning shows standing floods wreaked havoc on the infrastructure.
In response to flooding on July 10, Hoboken Mayor Ravi Bhalla said, "Tropical Storm Fay was the equivalent of a 50-year storm; in other words, a storm that has a 2% chance of happening in any year." He also said, "NHSA estimates that to prevent the most severe of flooding events... we would need to replace our entire sewer system, which would cost an estimated $3 billion. Needless to say, this is an impractical solution.”
Just over a week after that statement, Bhalla is expected to issue another statement later today. Meanwhile, more storms are in the forecast for Thursday afternoon, into Friday.
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