Why Weren’t Hoboken’s Flood Gates Activated?
The information presented in this article was first reported by Patch.com
In an effort to address the persistent flooding issues in the low-lying areas of Hoboken, the city had introduced six advanced flood gates in the winter of 2023. These gates were designed to automatically lower during flooding events, preventing vehicles from getting trapped.
However, on a recent Monday evening, following a series of thunderstorms and a weekend filled with heavy rainfall, several parts of Hoboken experienced flooding. Residents shared videos and images of the inundated streets, including areas where the flood gates were installed. Surprisingly, these gates seemed to remain inactive.
In response to inquiries about the inactive flood gates, city spokesperson Marilyn Baer stated that the city has been in touch with the flood warning system provider to ensure its proper functioning. The gates are supposed to be activated by a control trigger when sensors detect water on the road’s surface. Baer mentioned plans to adjust the sensors’ sensitivity and recalibrate the triggering mechanism to ensure all gates function as intended. During the recent storm, the Office of Emergency Management and Hoboken Police Department had to manually lower some flood gates and set up barricades to ensure public safety. Baer emphasized the risks associated with driving or walking through flooded areas, both to individuals and property.
Apart from these flood gates, the city has implemented other measures to mitigate flooding. These include the installation of flood pumps, the creation of resiliency parks capable of holding millions of gallons of rainwater, and the development of smaller water retention areas. In the past, flash floods have trapped residents inside a supermarket. During Tropical Depression Ida, 30 individuals tragically lost their lives due to severe flooding across the state. On a positive note, the city recently announced that they received $6.24M from FEMA to expand a retention park.
Additionally, a flood watch was issued for several counties, including Bergen, Essex, Hudson, Passaic, and Union, which lasted until 6 p.m. on a Wednesday. There were also reports of potential heavy rainfall and strong thunderstorms that could lead to localized flooding and possible wind damage. While Hurricane Lee is not anticipated to make landfall in New Jersey, it might still influence surf and rip currents. The storm is expected to be closest to New Jersey on a Saturday, with daytime temperatures in the 70s, dropping to 59 at night.