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Re: Flooding on Grove Street
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I would really think twice about any area prone to flooding. Doesn't matter if it's from the sewer or through the foundation. It is a royal hassle, very difficult to clean/dry and can be very unhealthy. It can also cause foundation damage which is not a cheap issue at all. Avoid...

Posted on: 2012/10/2 23:45
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Re: Flooding on Grove Street
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I have been reading about all the serious flooding in this neighborhood for quite some time, and now we are looking at a property in the neighborhood along Grove St.


Its a flood zone, just get flood insurance and deal with it as it happens. No matter what the city attempts to do it has always been a flood zone and always will be.

Posted on: 2012/10/2 12:57
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Re: Flooding on Grove Street
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I have been reading about all the serious flooding in this neighborhood for quite some time, and now we are looking at a property in the neighborhood along Grove St. Does anyone know if there has still been major flooding since the MUA did some pipe work around a year ago at the intersection of Grove and Grand? It seems incredible that so many folkshere have to deal with all this water and sewage in their homes. How does anyone ever sell or rent a basement or garden unit in these areas if they flood every year? Is it possible for an individual homeowner to do anything to stop the water from coming into their home? Some here have written about valves to stop the sewer water from coming up from the toilets etc. Do these work? Would certainly appreciate hearing from any of you that live in this neighborhood about any lessening of the flooding or future improvements. Thanks.

Posted on: 2012/10/2 0:27
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Re: Flooding on Grove Street
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I was talking to one of the JC Municipal Authority guys who have been cleaning the sewer on one block stretch of Bay St between Provost St. and Marin Blvd. and he said that short stretch has not been cleaned in 20 years. It has taken them nearly a month to just clean this short section. No joke, mountains of mud and filth is being brought up each day with this thick iron bucket like contraption. I suspect that when there is another flash flood the intersection of Bay St. and Marin Blvd. wont be as big of a lake.

Perhaps they have already done this sort of cleaning on the streets that are prone to flooding. Clogged sewers don't help anything especially with JC's horrible storm drain situatiuon and the cronic littering problem that exists here. If I lived in one of those houses that gets flooded each heavy rain I would find out when the sewers in their area were cleaned as thorough as they are doing on Bay St. If they have not been dredged for 20 years like Bay St. I would be asking why not.

Posted on: 2012/7/20 23:05
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Re: Flooding on Grove Street
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Quote:

T-Bird wrote:
Thor - hopefully you fared well the past few days. Scottacus is right - the block you are on has been much drier than the one immediately south (Grove between York and Grand.) The intersection of Grove and Grand was a half-block lake during the three big storms late last summer and was probably three feet deep in the street at its worst.

Things should be improved though - the MUA dug up the Grove/Grand intersection late last fall and did a major rerouting and some pipe replacement. I haven't noticed flooding at that intersection since, but then again we haven't had any ten inch rainfalls either.


Often, when I walk down that block of Grove, between Grand and York, I wonder if years of repeated flooding has undermined the structural integrity of the buildings, especially on the east side of the street. If you look up, you’ll notice most of the buildings are leaning back by several degrees.

Posted on: 2012/7/20 17:42
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Re: Flooding on Grove Street
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Thor - hopefully you fared well the past few days. Scottacus is right - the block you are on has been much drier than the one immediately south (Grove between York and Grand.) The intersection of Grove and Grand was a half-block lake during the three big storms late last summer and was probably three feet deep in the street at its worst.

Things should be improved though - the MUA dug up the Grove/Grand intersection late last fall and did a major rerouting and some pipe replacement. I haven't noticed flooding at that intersection since, but then again we haven't had any ten inch rainfalls either.

Posted on: 2012/7/20 13:38
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Re: Flooding on Grove Street
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I have been thinking about installing a surge tank to handle run off from the roof when the tank is overloaded. But right now I don't have the money or the patience to deal with our wonderful building department to get such a thing permitted and approved.

Posted on: 2012/7/20 13:31
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Re: Flooding on Grove Street
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One thing I think a lot of people don't consider is the amount of water that comes off a building's roof, which is usually routed to the sewer lines. Even with a backflow preventer valve, that added pressure on the system can lead to flooding at the lowest exit points - which are the fixtures in the basement or garden level apartment. If you also have a sump pump connected to the sewer, and people upstairs thoughtlessly showering, flushing, etc. during a heavy rain, all of that water will end up flooding you regardless of the backflow valve.

If the building has a large enough yard to absorb roof runoff, maybe you can consider re-routing the roof gutters to the yard instead of the sewer (?) Always being careful that you're not just passing the water on to your neighbor's basement! A cistern or large rain barrels could also work - with the added benefit of providing water for plant irrigation when it's not raining.

Posted on: 2012/7/20 12:55
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Re: Flooding on Grove Street
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I have flood insurance through our homeowners association and homeowners insurance separately on my own and a sub-pump in the front and back of our unit. No issues so far (knock on wood) thank god, but am glad now that I've done alot of research on here.

Like Jaded said, first-time buying is a big learning experience and was hoping to share this with anyone who is currently in the same boat so they know what to expect and what questions to ask.

Posted on: 2012/7/19 19:33
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Re: Flooding on Grove Street
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JadedJC,

There is a "package" or clause that we had added to our homeowners policy for "sump pump back up" which proved to be something really important to us having in addition to the flood insurance we had to purchase (which was almost useless, even in the hurricane!). The sump pump back up will cover incidents such as a sewer back up that the sump pump in essence, can not handle. Our insurance company came through for us with this and did not at all give us a hard time when we had to make a claim.

Unfortuantely when I brought my place no one ever told me it flooded to the levels that it has. I knew we were in a flood zone but I was unprepard and not informed of the sewer issues JC has. We have taken extreme measures over the years to protect our home, and more so after the hurricane though I don't truly believe anything is 100% the JC sewer system. I'm worried I won't be able to find a seller down the road even though it really is the city that needs to make upgrades, not homeowners spending thousands to protect themselves from their outdated and overworked systems, flood zone or not!

Posted on: 2012/7/19 18:44
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Re: Flooding on Grove Street
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Quote:

SRhia wrote:
Can you suggest what are the questions we should ask / find out? Thinking of buying in the area...


I'll send you a message later tonight, so check your inbox. Flooding is an obvious one, but there are also specific issues with taxation, the condo association, historic districting, etc. A lot depends on what your tolerance level is for certain issues, and sometimes you don't discover what that is until you've lived in a place and discovered there were things you absolutely hated and would pay anything to get out of it, while there were other things you discover aren't such a big deal.

Posted on: 2012/7/19 18:08
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Re: Flooding on Grove Street
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Can you suggest what are the questions we should ask / find out? Thinking of buying in the area...

Quote:

JadedJC wrote:
So, how did you fare in yesterday's storm?

The first home is always a big learning experience. I took everything I learned from the first one and asked all the questions I should've asked when I bought my current home. I'm much, much happier for it. The funny thing is when some friends were buying their first home downtown, I warned them about certain issues that they should look into, especially with an older home. But they had their minds made up from the get-go and there was no talking them down. Fast-forward two years, and the buyer's remorse has taken over. I bite my tongue and politely refrain from I-told-you-so. There are just some things you learn the hard way. I agree, home inspections in NJ mostly are a joke, especially when it comes to condos. They spend more time making sure appliances work and next to no time checking out critical infrastructure.

Posted on: 2012/7/19 16:33
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Re: Flooding on Grove Street
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Correct me if I'm wrong: I thought flood insurance covers you from a storm surge (i.e. a river overflowing its banks), but not from a sewer back-up. The latter is the more common problem plaguing downtown JC, and I was once told that federal flood insurance wouldn't cover you for that.

Posted on: 2012/7/19 13:28
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Re: Flooding on Grove Street
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More detailed than the map above, the FEMA Flood Insurance Rate Maps give you a good idea of what the flood risk is on your street/block. Just enter your address and you can scroll/zoom around the map. Most of downtown is in the "AE" zone (100 yr floodplain), with some areas at higher risk.

https://msc.fema.gov/webapp/wcs/stores ... catalogId=10001&langId=-1

Also, thor, I hope you have flood insurance. Homeowners insurance does not typically cover flooding. You could be lucky and live there a dozen years without a flood, but a period of above average rain and a tropical storm (August 2011 for example) could have you under a couple of feet of water.

Posted on: 2012/7/19 13:18
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Re: Flooding on Grove Street
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So, how did you fare in yesterday's storm?

The first home is always a big learning experience. I took everything I learned from the first one and asked all the questions I should've asked when I bought my current home. I'm much, much happier for it. The funny thing is when some friends were buying their first home downtown, I warned them about certain issues that they should look into, especially with an older home. But they had their minds made up from the get-go and there was no talking them down. Fast-forward two years, and the buyer's remorse has taken over. I bite my tongue and politely refrain from I-told-you-so. There are just some things you learn the hard way. I agree, home inspections in NJ mostly are a joke, especially when it comes to condos. They spend more time making sure appliances work and next to no time checking out critical infrastructure.

Posted on: 2012/7/19 12:56
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Re: Flooding on Grove Street
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If you dumped several hundred thousand dollars on a property without doing all the necessary reasearch, I don't particularly feel bad for you. Why would you rely on a realtor, who has a vested interest in you purchasing the property, to inform you of all its flaws? It's akin to you being upset that the guy you bought a used car from didn't let you know that it has a bad muffler bearing.

Posted on: 2012/7/19 12:53
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Re: Flooding on Grove Street
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Your inspector should have alerted you to the high potential for dampness/flooding in the area. Did your inspector use a moisture meter. Sellers exert great efforts to hide potential problems (e.g. newly painted basement walls, etc.). You should also have been advised to visit the property under heavy rain conditions. Why you would rely on your realtor's advice in this situation is puzzling.

Posted on: 2012/7/19 12:49
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Re: Flooding on Grove Street
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Home inspectors are usually limited to what they can see. There was no obvious signs of discoloration due to mold or water damage, so in his mind it was ok.

They also do not check behind walls unless there is some kind of opening such as electrical panel access in a basement. Unless you ask very specific questions, chances are in New Jersey, no one is going to tell you anything. In other states, this is different, and disclosure is required legally.

We learned about the history of damages from our neighbor and still haven't found out everything. To a degree, this is the buyer's responsibility as part of due diligence, but lessons learned. Real Estate can be a f#$ked up game.

Posted on: 2012/7/19 12:27
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Re: Flooding on Grove Street
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Why didn't your house inspector figure this out for you ?

Posted on: 2012/7/19 7:14
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Re: Flooding on Grove Street
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The problem with the black flow preventers is that they may stop the water from coming out of the sewer, but they may aggravate another problem. For a large number of buildings, the storm drains are tied into the sewer lines. When the water can no longer flow out into the sewer (because the sewer is filled clear up to street level), it comes out the next available spot: Basement drains, toilets, tubs.

In my case, I had water pouring out of the tubs and toilets in a 1st floor apartment. There was so much static pressure in the sewer, the water from the roof couldn't flow fast enough into the sewer.

That did a hell of a lot of damage and created some really pissed off tenants.

Posted on: 2012/7/18 21:47
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Re: Flooding on Grove Street
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My understanding is that downtown, and maybe the rest of the city, does not have separate storm sewers, but combined storm and sanitary sewers. Water coming up thru your toilet or bathtub is dirty.

Plumbers can install a backflow check valve that can (maybe) stop sewers backing up into your house, but you may be passing it on to your neighbor.

After the first time this happened, and it was apparent that it was sewage, my doctor insisted I get the Hep A vaccine.

Until the storm lets up, don't flush. Actually, this might be an acceptable time to toilet in Hamilton Park rather than your house.

Posted on: 2012/7/18 21:35
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Re: Flooding on Grove Street
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Quote:

brewster wrote:
Quote:

corybraiterman wrote:
I'm just hilariously astonished that someone would buy a property at sea level blocks from one of the largest rivers on the east coast and flooding would never cross their mind


Our flooding has less to do with geography and more to do with graft and apathy. It's rainwater not river water in our basements. Cities that are even below sea level deal with this by pumps to drain the rainwater from the sewer system so it functions in storms. Our city deals with it by saying (and I quote Joe Beckmeyer, chief engineer of the MUA) "sewer flooding is an act of God". Our city has found it a priority to line the pockets of the party faithful rather than fix our sewers (see current thread about Councilman Gaughan & family sucking on the city and county tits like a litter of piglets)


Exactly, proximity to the river has little to do with the majority of the flooding issues. To further complicate matters the flood map is pretty general, I know from first-hand experience that certain portions of a block can be much more prone to basement flooding than other portions of the same block. There is usually no way to find that out other than the hard way, unfortunately.

Generally your best bet is to use as many strategically placed sump pumps as possible and shoot it out to the street, and under no circumstances should you connect the outlet to the storm drains, you might as well empty it out directly in your basement.

Posted on: 2012/7/18 21:08
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Re: Flooding on Grove Street
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"Lake Oakland" just formed up out front of my place. Which means I will have a fair amount of water in my basement

:(

Posted on: 2012/7/18 20:55
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Re: Flooding on Grove Street
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Just received an alert on my phone. We are under a flash flood warning. At least the hail stopped.

Posted on: 2012/7/18 20:40
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Re: Flooding on Grove Street
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Based on what I've seen over the past few years, that block doesn't flood too badly, in the sense that the roadway is not usually significantly flooded out during a heavy rain. The block between York and Grand is much worse, and the water there often rises over the sidewalk and down into the basement levels of homes.

That said, basement flooding is an issue in almost all of downtown JC during a heavy rain, as the antiquated sewer system becomes overwhelmed and there is nowhere for water to go. Worse, when the system becomes truly overloaded sewer water can sometimes come out of basement drains and flood the basement.

Given the road there doesn't flood too badly you may want to look into getting a pump that can drain water out into the street. Not a bad option for when the pipes are at capacity.

Posted on: 2012/7/18 20:40
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Re: Flooding on Grove Street
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You could say that about all of Jersey City, but certain areas definitely seem way worse than others. From what I hear, Paulus Hook stays dry for the most part even though it is closer to the river than Grove STreet.

I guess we just didnt do enough research and relied on the realtor way too much.

Posted on: 2012/7/18 20:21
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Re: Flooding on Grove Street
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Quote:

corybraiterman wrote:
I'm just hilariously astonished that someone would buy a property at sea level blocks from one of the largest rivers on the east coast and flooding would never cross their mind


Our flooding has less to do with geography and more to do with graft and apathy. It's rainwater not river water in our basements. Cities that are even below sea level deal with this by pumps to drain the rainwater from the sewer system so it functions in storms. Our city deals with it by saying (and I quote Joe Beckmeyer, chief engineer of the MUA) "sewer flooding is an act of God". Our city has found it a priority to line the pockets of the party faithful rather than fix our sewers (see current thread about Councilman Gaughan & family sucking on the city and county tits like a litter of piglets)

Posted on: 2012/7/18 20:20
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Re: Flooding on Grove Street
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On the topic of weather... I got some hail bouncing off my skylights and there are some really big thunderstorms just to the West of us.

We might get some flooding. My building floods, even though I am 80 ft+ above sea level. Three sewers combine into one in front of my place. It gets a bit overloaded.

This is made worse by the fact the storm grates are now completely covered in trash. I have been cleaning the one in front of my building, but the latest deluge of garbage just covered it up again.

Posted on: 2012/7/18 20:09
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Re: Flooding on Grove Street
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I'm just hilariously astonished that someone would buy a property at sea level blocks from one of the largest rivers on the east coast and flooding would never cross their mind

Flood zone free or be near Tommy Two scoops, some people buy on impulses.

Posted on: 2012/7/18 20:02

Edited by Webmaster on 2012/7/20 5:45:15
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Re: Flooding on Grove Street
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I'm just hilariously astonished that someone would buy a property at sea level blocks from one of the largest rivers on the east coast and flooding would never cross their mind

Posted on: 2012/7/18 19:54
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