Can Anything Be Done To Stop New Jersey’s Flooding Problems? [AUDIO]
With parts of New Jersey experiencing so-called "hundred year floods" on an annual basis for the past 3 years, legislators are introducing a measure they say will develop short term relief and long term solutions.
Standing on the banks of a calm Raritan River, Assemblywoman Donna Simon said, "There is no doubt flooding destroys homes and businesses, disrupts lives and wreaks havoc in communities, so legislation is being introduced that will create the Hunterdon, Somerset Flood Advisory Task Force for the Delaware Raritan River Basin and its tributaries…This Task Force will study past floods, in order to improve our region for a better, safer and drier future…and will look at flood mitigation, purchasing flood-prone properties, emergency response systems…Flooding is a problem in New Jersey that affects each region differently. We need to get this legislation passed so our region can start fighting back against flooding. It will be an 11 member panel appointed by the Governor."
Assemblyman Jack Ciattarelli, a co-prime sponsor of the measure, says "Call it global warming, call it over-development, call it a saturated earth, call it excess run-off, call it what you may, it's a public policy issue…This legislation would mandate the formation of a Task Force that will bring together the most important state agencies, and expertise to address this issue in a very, very macro perspective…The Task Force will work in partnership with the Raritan Millstone River Basin Flood Control Commission to develop strategies for short-term relief, like using Green Acre funds to be used in a Blue Acres way; to buy properties in flood plains - and a more long-term solution is Army Corps of Engineer-like projects - and that's where you're going to need state assistance."
Local residents have their doubts.
One man said, "Another Task Force? Are we going to be flooded 3 more times before we even get a report? Who knows? I don't know- there's no way in my understanding that when you back water up in one area - that you're not pushing it back to another."
Another local resident said, "You block the river somewhere- it goes someplace else- so really, are we really going to drop that burden on somebody else?"
Another woman chimed in "More yubbi, yubbi, yubbi. That's what I feel."
The measure is expected to be introduced in the next few months.