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Re: Snor'Eastercane
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It's amazing how flat footed all these municipalities were with Sandy...

Sewage Flows After Storm Exposes Flaws in System
By MICHAEL SCHWIRTZ
EAST ROCKAWAY, N.Y. ? The water flowing out of the Bay Park sewage plant here in Nassau County is a greenish-gray soup of partially treated human waste, a sign of an environmental and public health disaster that officials say will be one of the most enduring and expensive effects of Hurricane Sandy.

In the month since the storm, hundreds of millions of gallons of raw and partly raw sewage from Bay Park and other crippled treatment plants have flowed into waterways in New York and New Jersey, exposing flaws in the region?s wastewater infrastructure that could take several years and billions of dollars to fix. In New York State alone, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo has estimated that about $1.1 billion will be needed to repair treatment plants. But officials acknowledge that they will have to do far more.

Motors and electrical equipment must be raised above newly established flood levels, and circuitry must be made waterproof. Dams and levees may have to be built at some treatment plants to keep the rising waters at bay, experts say.

Failure to do so, according to experts, could leave large swaths of the population vulnerable to public health and environmental hazards in future storms.

?You?re looking at significant expenditures of money to make the plants more secure,? said John Cameron, an engineer who specializes in wastewater-treatment facilities and is the chairman of the Long Island Regional Planning Council. ?There is no Band-Aid for this,? he added. ?This is the new normal.?

When the plants are fully functioning, they treat incoming sewage to remove solid waste and toxic substances and kill bacteria before it is discharged into the ocean or a bay. When the plants are shut down, the raw sewage goes into waterways in the same condition as when it comes in. At least six sewage plants in the New York region shut down completely during the storm, and many more were crippled by storm surges that swamped motors and caused short circuits in electrical equipment.

In New Jersey, workers at the Passaic Valley Sewerage Commission plant, the fifth largest in the country, had to evacuate as floodwaters surged in and wastewater gushed out.

The Middlesex County Utility Authority plant in Sayreville, N.J., let about 75 million gallons of raw sewage a day flow into Raritan Bay for nearly a week before power was restored, said Larry Ragonese, a spokesman for the State Environmental Protection Department.

Operations at both plants have not yet been fully restored.

The damage to the plants did not cause contamination to drinking water, which is run through separate systems, officials said. In some areas, officials imposed restrictions on water use to reduce strains on plants.

Bay Park, a sprawling complex off Hewlett Bay near the New York City border, serves 40 percent of Nassau County.

When the storm arrived, its force blindsided workers. They had spent days shoring up the plant with emergency measures, but did not anticipate the surge.

In less than 30 minutes, engines for the plant?s main pumping system were under 12 feet of water, and sewage began to back up and overflow into low-lying homes. In one low-lying neighborhood, a plume of feces and wastewater burst through the street like a geyser.

The plant shut down for more than 50 hours, and about 200 million gallons of raw sewage flowed into channels and waterways.

?Never, ever, ever has this happened before,? said Michael Martino, a spokesman for the Nassau County Department of Public Works. On Thursday, Mr. Martino said that the plant was back in operation and that the treatment of sewage was improving day by day.

Two other plants on the South Shore of Long Island, in Lawrence and Long Beach, were knocked out of service by the surge. Both are now working. And the Rockaway Wastewater Treatment Plant in Queens had significant damage.

Others, including the Cedar Creek Water Pollution Control Plant, which serves another 40 percent of Nassau County, and Bergen Point, another large plant in Suffolk County, escaped relatively unscathed.

Still, even those plants may not fare so well in the future, said Mr. Cameron of the Long Island Regional Planning Council.

Almost all facilities in the region are close to sea level and are vulnerable to storm surges, he said. Many were built decades ago to serve fewer people.

Even before the storm, the Bay Park plant in Nassau County needed new equipment.

When it was completed, in 1949, the county?s population was half what it is today. The plant now serves 550,000 residents and has struggled to keep up with demand.

During heavy rains, there are occasional sewage leaks, particularly in low-lying areas, residents say. Last year, the county was fined $1.5 million for, among other violations, illegally pumping about 3.5 million gallons of partially treated sewage into East Rockaway Channel. Edward P. Mangano, the Nassau County executive, has invested $70 million to improve the sewage system, but officials said damage from the storm was a major setback.

For the residents of Barnes Avenue in Baldwin, a low-lying stretch about three miles from the Bay Park plant, the failure during the hurricane was the culmination of their worst fears, though hardly a surprise.

They said they had long complained to Nassau County about sewage that flooded streets and occasionally homes during heavy rains. After Tropical Storm Irene sent human waste splashing onto lawns and front porches last year, residents said, the county bolted manhole covers shut to prevent them from opening.

During the storm, the manhole covers stayed in place, but the force of wastewater rushing up through the ground around them washed away part of the road.

?With Sandy it was, I hate the clich?, the perfect storm,? said John Malinowski, 54, a graphic designer who lives with his wife in a two-story home on Barnes Avenue. ?When Bay Park failed and they couldn?t get the sewage out of the system, that?s when this became a real catastrophic event here.?

The smell of excrement still hung over the tidy neighborhood this week as workers in white hazmat suits tried to decontaminate homes. Sewage, mixed with four- to five-foot-high floodwaters, infiltrated floors and walls, and many homes must be stripped to their wooden frames to be fully decontaminated.

Residents said they were unsure whether their homes could be salvaged, or even whether they were safe to enter. If allowed to remain in walls and between floorboards, raw sewage can breed diseases like salmonella, hepatitis A and giardia, said Vince Radke, a sanitarian at the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention. He said contaminated items, including drywall and insulation, as well as furniture, should be thrown out.

Residents of Barnes Avenue said they had encountered difficulty getting aid.

?We started e-mailing and phoning everyone in the Town of Hempstead, the County of Nassau, the State of New York and at the federal level to try to get people down here to say is this healthy or is this not healthy and here?s what do about it,? said Jeff Press, 42, a photographer, whose home has not yet dried out.

Mr. Martino, from the Department of Public Works, said Nassau County had been ?very aggressive? in informing residents of the dangers.

He said that Mr. Mangano, the county executive, had put in place a plan to clean up the damage in private homes caused by the sewage, and that the county was sending out crews to assist.

He said county officials had gone door to door to inform residents of the program and provide health information.

Elsewhere, officials are still evaluating the environmental impact of leakages.

In Raritan Bay, the Hudson River and the waters around the Bay Park plant, the Environmental Protection Agency has detected dangerous levels of fecal coliform, a bacteria associated with human waste, and has urged people to avoid contact with the water. Bans on shellfish have been imposed in some regions.

The tides will eventually flush much of the wastewater into the Atlantic Ocean, where it will break down. There is concern, though, that some contamination could go into the sediment and be buried, particularly around Bay Park, where the waters are flushed out more slowly.

?This is the largest sewage release in the history of Long Island,? said Adrienne Esposito, executive director of Citizens Campaign for the Environment, an advocacy group. ?This brings to a new level the public health threat and the duration for the contamination, which will have a serious adverse impact on our beaches and our bays.?


Posted on: 2012/11/30 2:45
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ianmac47 wrote:
I don't think anyone actually argues that the sewers shouldn't be upgraded. But no one wants to pay for it.

The EPA has this sheet that estimates the cost of separating a combined sewer at an average cost of $15,400 per acre. In 1984 dollars (Though in Detroit, estimates have been as high as $67,000 an acre)

That's $32,816.69 in 2011 dollars, http://www.westegg.com/inflation/infl.cgi

Jersey City has 14.7 square miles of land, or 9,408 acres of land. Subtracting the 1,212 acres of LSP, that leaves 8,196 acres of land.

That leaves the cost, in 1984, based on a conservative average price per acre, of $126,218,400, or inflation adjusted $268,959,936.

In perspective, thats a little more than half the entire operating budget of the city.

http://www.nj.com/hudson/index.ssf/20 ... y_city_council_adopt.html

Of course, if the average price per acre is closer to Detroit's, in 1984, the total cost would have been $549,132,000. Adjust that for inflation and you are talking about a project that costs more than a billion dollars.



This is what the bonding ability of the Authorities was supposed to be for, not to be a piggy bank for the city to raid to fill budget holes, as Schundler (and presumably others) did.

Posted on: 2012/11/27 21:35
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Having to come up with an extra week's salary for the next 12 months as part of my condo assessment isn't a problem? It's a hardship for some of us.

Posted on: 2012/11/27 21:07
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blanquiita wrote:
I'm sure the city will figure a way for property owners to pay out-of-pocket expenses for a sewer upgrade on top of our normal property taxes.

The buildings dept is making our condo association (like many condos in my area) put in a water pump and sprinkler system. Why are they doing that? Even though our bldg (less than 10 units) had been grandfathered in to the newer fire codes, we were told that they were afraid there wouldn't be enough water pressure in case of a fire because of all of the new develpment happening. Sure, give the developers tax abatements up the wazoo instead of making them pay their fair share and up other people's property taxes AND make them pay out-of-pocket expenses.


I think you forgot the proper hashtag for this: #FirstWorldProblms


Posted on: 2012/11/27 20:57
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I'm sure the city will figure a way for property owners to pay out-of-pocket expenses for a sewer upgrade on top of our normal property taxes.

The buildings dept is making our condo association (like many condos in my area) put in a water pump and sprinkler system. Why are they doing that? Even though our bldg (less than 10 units) had been grandfathered in to the newer fire codes, we were told that they were afraid there wouldn't be enough water pressure in case of a fire because of all of the new develpment happening. Sure, give the developers tax abatements up the wazoo instead of making them pay their fair share and up other people's property taxes AND make them pay out-of-pocket expenses.

Posted on: 2012/11/27 20:33
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I don't think anyone actually argues that the sewers shouldn't be upgraded. But no one wants to pay for it.

The EPA has this sheet that estimates the cost of separating a combined sewer at an average cost of $15,400 per acre. In 1984 dollars (Though in Detroit, estimates have been as high as $67,000 an acre)

That's $32,816.69 in 2011 dollars, http://www.westegg.com/inflation/infl.cgi

Jersey City has 14.7 square miles of land, or 9,408 acres of land. Subtracting the 1,212 acres of LSP, that leaves 8,196 acres of land.

That leaves the cost, in 1984, based on a conservative average price per acre, of $126,218,400, or inflation adjusted $268,959,936.

In perspective, thats a little more than half the entire operating budget of the city.

http://www.nj.com/hudson/index.ssf/20 ... y_city_council_adopt.html

Of course, if the average price per acre is closer to Detroit's, in 1984, the total cost would have been $549,132,000. Adjust that for inflation and you are talking about a project that costs more than a billion dollars.


Posted on: 2012/11/27 20:26
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Someone needs to put together the numbers on what damage occured because of the storm surge versus what occured because the pathetic sewer system got backed up.

Unlike Irene, this storm didn't involve much rain. The JC officials will try to hide behind the "act of God" excuse, but my guess is a lot of damage was caused due to their refusal to modernize the sewer system (not actual surge/flood).

Predictably their next line will be that no one wants to pay for the sewers to be truly fixed. We're already paying a lot for all the damages both personally and through a percentage of property taxes.

I think this is a huge opportunity for team Fulop to say Sandy cost JC X dollars in total and Y percentage of that could have been avoided if we scrapped the antiquated combined system. You can rest assured no one is advertising the true magnitude of how much damage could have been avoided with a proactive effort by MUA over the years...

I have no issue with damage caused by the surge, but bottom line is all these sewer backups are quite avoidable with a competent sewer setup...

Posted on: 2012/11/27 18:46
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mfadam wrote:
Does someone know how the JC Library on Jersey Ave was so badly flooded? I don't think the surge got to the intersection of Jersey and Montgomery. My guess is the library got sewage water that backed up due to the antiquated combined pipe line under the streets. Anyone able to confirm this?


Most likely you're right about the sewer, combined with no backup power for the sump pumps. Last year in Irene, McNair (with a generator) took 8' of water in their basement and $300k in damage even though there was no street flooding.

Posted on: 2012/11/27 18:02
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The library is about 10 ft above sea level so it is possible that it could have gotten hit by the surge.. Though it is a ways inland.

I don't live downtown, so I only saw the flooding online.

Posted on: 2012/11/27 17:49
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Does someone know how the JC Library on Jersey Ave was so badly flooded? I don't think the surge got to the intersection of Jersey and Montgomery. My guess is the library got sewage water that backed up due to the antiquated combined pipe line under the streets. Anyone able to confirm this?

Posted on: 2012/11/27 12:39
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Jersey City official: more than $22 million in damages from Sandy

By Terrence T. McDonald/The Jersey Journal
on November 26, 2012 at 6:37 PM

Jersey City suffered more than $22 million in damages thanks to Hurricane Sandy, its emergency-management director told the City Council tonight.

Sandy led to extensive flooding throughout Downtown Jersey City, Country Village and other neighborhoods, as well as power outages that some residents are still experiencing today.

?It was a very trying experience for myself and my staff,? said Greg Kierce, director of the city Office of Emergency Management.

City Hall suffered major damage, as did the main branch of the Jersey City Free Public Library, which lost roughly 30,000 books and other materials to flooding, Kierce said today.

There was also damage to water pumps and city-owned vehicles, added Kierce, who said the OEM is still assessing Sandy-related damage.

At tonight?s council caucus, Kierce said the massive power outages after Sandy made landfall on Oct. 29 ? which led to thousands of residents without internet access and any ability to charge their cell phones and other electronic devices ? led to a communication gap as the city tried to tell people where to find shelter, water and food.

The city may have to ?revert? to items like ?bullhorns? to keep residents up-to-date during future disasters, Kierce said tonight.

?All I can do is promise that in the future we can do better,? he said.

Kierce noted that a Federal Emergency Management Agency official sent an email to top city officials on Nov. 21 praising Jersey City?s response to the storm. The city?s ability to respond to the disaster without major federal intervention led to less media coverage of its response, reads the email from FEMA official Keith Holtermann.

?It appeared to me that communities, like Jersey City, who received incredible devastating impacts and fared well due to their ?resilience? received little positive press, and in some cases even negative press since they didn?t have/require external assistance,? the email reads.

http://www.nj.com/hudson/index.ssf/20 ... y_official_more_than.html

Posted on: 2012/11/27 5:48
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Did NJ Transit hire Ray Nagin as a consultant?


Posted on: 2012/11/19 13:33
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Exclusive: New Jersey railway put trains in Sandy flood zone despite warnings
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From Reuters.com article:

New Jersey Transit's struggle to recover from Superstorm Sandy is being compounded by a pre-storm decision to park much of its equipment in two rail yards that forecasters predicted would flood, a move that resulted in damage to one-third of its locomotives and a quarter of its passenger cars...
link to full story

Posted on: 2012/11/19 4:52
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mfadam wrote:
Surely the city can only stonewall so much on situations like this??


If you think that, you underestimate them. They will tell you it's your sewer line, it's underground streams, it's surface water leaking in, etc, anything but their sewer. What's really fun is trying to get water tested by a lab for coliform bacteria. You're told the sample has to be less than 2 hrs old. It can't be frozen or refrigerated. I asked it that is 2 hrs from the sewer or anus, and got no defining reply. Maybe things have changed, that was more than a decade ago.

Posted on: 2012/11/18 18:22
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Brewster - I think your situation may be happening in a lot of spots throughout the city. I'm beginning to suspect in my area too since many of us with check valves took on sewage. Have you tried to go through official channels or asked Steven Fulop for help? Surely the city can only stonewall so much on situations like this??

Posted on: 2012/11/18 12:44
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Count me among the number that would love to hear a response and plan from the MUA. The combined sewer needs to be fixed ASAP. Does anyone know where to find out the status of the repairs mandated by the EPA in last year's lawsuit?

Several years ago the sewer in front of our house collapsed, filling our basement with sewage. The MUA fixed it but reacting seems to be their MO rather than proactively fixing the known problems. This is at the expense of homeowners who repeatedly suffer damage.


The essential problem is that job #1 at our all municipal authorities is to distribute patronage goodies and make our taxes disappear. Productivity is viewed as something that needs to be just enough to keep us peasants from marching on them with torches and pitchforks. When the board chairperson of the MUA is Counciliman Gaughan's daughter Eileen, (utterly dull and unqualified for anything but "daddy's little girl") don't we get the message that the only thing that matters is that the corruption and nepotisim machine rolls on? http://www.nj.com/hudson/index.ssf/20 ... y_councilman_asks_ci.html

As I've said here numerous times, the lens through which I view this is the fact that the Parking Authority, which in most cities is a tremendous cash cow since they make money like they were printing it, in JC has actually managed to run in the red. Think of how much mismanagement and corruption that takes, then apply it to something like the MUA, which no one expects to make money but just to do their job of keeping the shit where it belongs. They fail. But they continue to blow smoke up our asses like they have for decades. "flooding is an act of God, now shut up and let us count the days til we get our multiple pensions". When I tell people from anywhere else that every time it rains heavily I get sewer water squirting from my foundation, their jaws drop. Here it's considered situation normal.

Posted on: 2012/11/17 18:31
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Count me among the number that would love to hear a response and plan from the MUA. The combined sewer needs to be fixed ASAP. Does anyone know where to find out the status of the repairs mandated by the EPA in last year's lawsuit?

Several years ago the sewer in front of our house collapsed, filling our basement with sewage. The MUA fixed it but reacting seems to be their MO rather than proactively fixing the known problems. This is at the expense of homeowners who repeatedly suffer damage.

Posted on: 2012/11/16 17:15
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Brewster - is the problem you're describing impacting all your neighbors? At my intersection, several rowhouses took on sewage despite everyone having checkvalves. I suspect that it may be a scenario like what you mentioned on 7th Street.

It seems that if there is a significant backup (caused by heavy rain or storm surge) than you have no defense against sewage seeping into your foundation if there are cracks in the ancient main pipe under the street?

The city should absolutely be accountable for this...




Posted on: 2012/11/16 12:37
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mfadam wrote:
hey Dan Becht - shall we take a show of hands to demonstrate the numbers of people who had sewage backups?

You might be surprised that it's more than a "minimal" number.



They've been shoveling this shit at us for decades. 14 years ago Chief Engineer Beckmeyer told a group of us "flooding was an act of God".

The exceptional circumstance that made this storm notably gross was the lack of rain to rinse out the system like colonoscopy prep before the flooding sends it into our homes. This time it forced barely diluted sewage into our streets and into our homes through the incontinent crumbling brick sewers.

14 years ago the MUA ran a camera down 7th street and reported it had "crack and offsets" causing it to leak into the street fill and foundations, but that they wouldn't do anything about it till it collapsed. While Steve Fulop got 7th on the list of sewers to get relined, in August it was removed from the list, because " 7th street was also included, but an inspection found 7th to be in good condition." http://stevenfulop.com/sites/default/ ... onsent-decree-summary.pdf

Really? 14 years ago it had "crack and offsets" but now it's fine? What crap. I get 6" high fountains squirting up from crack in my slab from leaked sewer water. All my neighbors get flooded regardless of check valves and the like, and McNair took $300k in damage from flooding in Irene. MUA: No problems!

Posted on: 2012/11/15 21:35
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AS ocean waters warm, the Northeast is likely to face more Sandy-like storms. And as sea levels continue to rise,


AARRRRG! More AGW nonsense to scare the crap out of people..

The USA has gone through the longest period of no major (Cat 3+) hurricane strikes on land for over 140 years. We go through periods of where the Eastern seaboard gets slammed like in the 1950's and the early 1990's (major Nor'Easters in 1991, 1992, and 1993) and years where we get off light. By some forecasts, we are in a pattern for more Nor'Easter type events... but this has to do with oscillation in ocean currents (PDO, AMO) and possibly other factors.

Ocean rise (which has been going on since the end of the Younger Dryas event) has been slowing during the last decade (it actually reversed for a period in 2011).

If you want people to stop building in flood zones.. phase out the Federal govt. run flood insurance.

Posted on: 2012/11/15 18:53
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Over 100 residents of Downtown Jersey City highrise still homeless after Sandy flooding
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By Terrence T. McDonald/The Jersey Journal
on November 15, 2012 at 1:22 PM, updated November 15, 2012 at 1:23 PM


Over 100 residents of a Downtown Jersey City residential highrise who were forced to evacuate after Hurricane Sandy hit the region on Oct. 29 are still unable to move back into their homes.

Zephyr Lofts, a condo complex located near the city?s border with Hoboken, suffered flooding in the basement garage that damaged its electrical and fire systems, and there?s no estimate on when the repairs will be complete, according to Rob Rosso, the highrise?s property manager.

?It?s driving us batty,? said Rosso.

About 400 residents of Zephyr and 700 Grove St. ? the adjacent highrises share a garage ? were forced to flee their homes two days after Sandy when city inspectors believed the unprecedented flooding could have resulted in structural damage.

Two engineering firms hired by the owners of Zephyr Lofts and 700 Grove St. concluded the foundation of the buildings is indeed stable, according to Rosso.

Zephyr residents get ?daily updates? on the status of repairs, Rosso said.

A longtime Zephyr resident who asked not to be identified said there?s never been flooding like this in the complex. The resident stayed with family immediately after the storm, but has since rented an apartment in Downtown Jersey City to be closer to work.

?It?s a little bit frustrating,? the resident said, adding the residents? insurance companies are denying claims because the companies contend their policies do not cover flooding.

The residents of 700 Grove St. ? developed by Toll Brothers ? were permitted to move back in last Saturday because that building?s electrical and fire systems are above ground, while Zephyr?s systems are in its basement.

Toll Brothers spokesman Todd Dumaresq said there is an ?ongoing? review of the complex by structural engineers.

?Toll Brothers has been actively involved in assisting in determining remedies and providing resources to get things back to normal as quickly as possible for the residents,? Dumaresq said.
http://www.nj.com/hudson/index.ssf/20 ... owntown.html#incart_river

Posted on: 2012/11/15 18:33
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from today's NYT:
Makes me wonder if it is even smart to rebuild in known flood problem spots like Grand Street, etc...

We Need to Retreat From the Beach
By ORRIN H. PILKEY
Durham, N.C.

AS ocean waters warm, the Northeast is likely to face more Sandy-like storms. And as sea levels continue to rise, the surges of these future storms will be higher and even more deadly. We can?t stop these powerful storms. But we can reduce the deaths and damage they cause.

Hurricane Sandy?s immense power, which destroyed or damaged thousands of homes, actually pushed the footprints of the barrier islands along the South Shore of Long Island and the Jersey Shore landward as the storm carried precious beach sand out to deep waters or swept it across the islands. This process of barrier-island migration toward the mainland has gone on for 10,000 years.

Yet there is already a push to rebuild homes close to the beach and bring back the shorelines to where they were. The federal government encourages this: there will be billions available to replace roads, pipelines and other infrastructure and to clean up storm debris, provide security and emergency housing. Claims to the National Flood Insurance Program could reach $7 billion. And the Army Corps of Engineers will be ready to mobilize its sand-pumping dredges, dump trucks and bulldozers to rebuild beaches washed away time and again.

But this ?let?s come back stronger and better? attitude, though empowering, is the wrong approach to the increasing hazard of living close to the rising sea. Disaster will strike again. We should not simply replace all lost property and infrastructure. Instead, we need to take account of rising sea levels, intensifying storms and continuing shoreline erosion.

I understand the temptation to rebuild. My parents? retirement home, built at 13 feet above sea level, five blocks from the shoreline in Waveland, Miss., was flooded to the ceiling during Hurricane Camille in 1969. They rebuilt it, but the house was completely destroyed by Hurricane Katrina in 2005. (They had died by then.) Even so, rebuilding continued in Waveland. A year after Katrina, one empty Waveland beachfront lot, on which successive houses had been wiped away by Hurricanes Camille and Katrina, was for sale for $800,000.

That is madness. We should strongly discourage the reconstruction of destroyed or badly damaged beachfront homes in New Jersey and New York. Some very valuable property will have to be abandoned to make the community less vulnerable to storm surges. This is tough medicine, to be sure, and taxpayers may be forced to compensate homeowners. But it should save taxpayers money in the long run by ending this cycle of repairing or rebuilding properties in the path of future storms. Surviving buildings and new construction should be elevated on pilings at least two feet above the 100-year flood level to allow future storm overwash to flow underneath. Some buildings should be moved back from the beach.

Respecting the power of these storms is not new. American Indians who occupied barrier islands during the warm months moved to the mainland during the winter storm season. In the early days of European settlement in North America, some communities restricted building to the bay sides of barrier islands to minimize damage. In Colombia and Nigeria, where some people choose to live next to beaches to reduce exposure to malarial mosquitoes, houses are routinely built to be easily moved.

We should also understand that armoring the shoreline with sea walls will not be successful in holding back major storm surges. As experience in New Jersey and elsewhere has shown, sea walls eventually cause the loss of protective beaches. These beaches can be replaced, but only at enormous cost to taxpayers. The 21-mile stretch of beach between Sandy Hook and Barnegat Inlet in New Jersey was replenished between 1999 and 2001 at a cost of $273 million (in 2011 dollars). Future replenishment will depend on finding suitable sand on the continental shelf, where it is hard to find.

And as sea levels rise, replenishment will be required more often. In Wrightsville Beach, N.C., the beach already has been replenished more than 20 times since 1965, at a cost of nearly $543 million (in 2011 dollars). Taxpayers in at least three North Carolina communities ? Carteret and Dare Counties and North Topsail Beach ? have voted down tax increases to pay for these projects in the last dozen years. The attitude was: we shouldn?t have to pay for the beach. We weren?t the ones irresponsible enough to build next to an eroding shoreline.

This is not the time for a solution based purely on engineering. The Army Corps undoubtedly will be heavily involved. But as New Jersey and New York move forward, officials should seek advice from oceanographers, coastal geologists, coastal and construction engineers and others who understand the future of rising seas and their impact on barrier islands. We need more resilient development, to be sure. But we also need to begin to retreat from the ocean?s edge.

Orrin H. Pilkey is an emeritus professor of earth sciences at Duke University and a co-author of ?The Rising Sea.?

Posted on: 2012/11/15 17:49
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hey Dan Becht - shall we take a show of hands to demonstrate the numbers of people who had sewage backups?

You might be surprised that it's more than a "minimal" number.


Posted on: 2012/11/15 17:48
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First Irene, then Sandy: Jersey City recovers, again

By David Ariosto, CNN
Wed November 14, 2012

Jersey City, New Jersey (CNN) -- When Hurricane Irene roared ashore last year, Jeff Spangler was hit hard.

The slow-moving storm whipped up a powerful tidal surge that breached sea walls protecting Jersey City, a bedroom Manhattan community, and flooded Spangler's home to the tune of thousands of dollars in damage and months of home repair.

This year, it happened again.

Superstorm Sandy and its rare mix of converging weather set records as it barreled into the Northeast on October 29 -- but its local effects may not have seemed so rare to Spangler and others who had survived Irene.

Experts warn of impending superstorm era

Just like in 2011, floodwater poured into the low-lying neighborhoods of Jersey City, knocking out power and filling Spangler's basement.

Now, the father of three says he's considering cutting his losses and moving out.

"The more this flooding happens ... the lower property values will sink," Spangler said. "I'll end up being underwater, literally."

Like many of his neighbors, Spangler rents out his building's first floor to help to pay his mortgage. Now, his tenants are gone, having left in Sandy's brutal aftermath.

"Not only are we dealing with repairs, now we're dealing with the loss of rental income and carrying the full mortgage until we can clean up the area," he said.

When Sandy unleashed its deadly torrent of wind and water, Spangler and his family rode it out inside their home as river wash leaked through his first floor and raised anxieties about how much higher it would get.

A swollen Hudson River had expanded into his backyard. When it finally receded, the flood left an auburn-colored watermark on his basketball hoop backboard.

The hoop was about 7 feet tall.

Afterward, the dials on his electrical boxes filled with bubbling pockets of a brownish liquid that seemed to foreshadow the string of electrical problems that would follow across the region.

Not forgetting the lack of electricity after of Irene, Spangler had prepared for Sandy, purchasing a generator just days before it hit. After the storm, he ran electrical cables across the street to his neighbors' homes, padlocking the generator to his wrought iron stoop out of fear of looting.

"I'm sure there were people watching and waiting for me not to be near that generator," he said.

At the height of the crisis, Spangler said, police and fire officials told him to hide the machine at night because it would take them hours to respond to an incident in his neighborhood.

" 'We're just overstretched,' " he quoted authorities as saying. That triggered shades of vigilante justice across his neighborhood, though Jersey City police could not be immediately reached for comment regarding the claim.

"I have neighbors across the street who have firearms who told me, 'Don't worry about it,' " he said. " 'Just call us (if there's a problem) and we'll be right outside with a gun.' "

Preparing for lesser disasters

Sandy triggered massive flooding across the Northeast, yet the effect of the floods may have been especially foul in Jersey City. That's because the city maintains a combined sewer and rain drainage system, meaning floodwater also spewed from pipes, swirled into basements and probably contained raw sewage, according to accounts from local residents and city officials.

"This happened with Irene too," Jersey City mayoral spokeswoman Jennifer Morrill said. The sewage "couldn't flow out because the water was at its highest capacity. ... So when the water came into (people's basements), it wasn't just water."

But any sewage overflow that occurred was considered minimal, according to the head of Jersey City's Municipal Utilities Authority.

"Did it occur on an extensive basis? Absolutely not," Dan Becht said.

After paying a remediation company to sanitize his basement, Spangler disagreed. He and his neighbors point to the city's antiquated sewer system as a primary culprit.

"I had to get this whole area disinfected," he said, standing in his basement illuminated by floodlights.

Last year, Jersey City's drainage system was the focus of a lawsuit from the Environmental Protection Agency, which said the city failed "to properly operate and maintain its combined sewer system."

The city settled the suit in July of last year and pledged to invest more than $52 million in infrastructure repairs and upgrades.

And yet those incremental updates may actually miss the bigger point, as many say that little done at the municipal level could have blunted the power Sandy unleashed on the region.

The more pressing issue may be how to decipher ways to best protect the city from lesser, more frequent storms, while enlisting federal support for the kind of long-term infrastructure needs that lie ahead.

"Sandy was to some extent unavoidable," Spangler said. "But Irene was a flood that never should have happened."

To rebuild or not

The gas shortages and massive power outages that plagued New Jersey after Sandy and a nor'easter that struck a week later are now starting to dissipate. The state lifted gas rationing orders Monday, and only about 4,000 customers across the state were still without power as of Wednesday. At the height of the storms, more than 3 million customers in New Jersey were without power.

Yet restoring power to many of those still in the dark requires inspectors to go door-to-door to check individual electrical panels, to avoid triggering further damage, such as electrical fires.

Still, the cost of rebuilding is in the billions. And Tad Drouet, 45, said he expects the damage to his Jersey City home after Sandy to be much higher than it was after Irene.

"Last year, our tab for fixing everything was about $15,000," he said. "This year, it'll be twice that."

Others, like Spangler, say they are again shelling out for those home appliances and other items that they expected to buy only once or twice.

"I just spent money again on a washer-dryer," he said. "I bought one last year too. These are the things you buy and expect to last 10 years."

Looming over many of these twice-battered storm victims is a basic question: "How much is enough?"

And yet despite the chorus of post-Sandy voices that warn of a recurring rash of inclement weather in the region, others say market forces will still probably absorb the risks tied to waterfront property and prevent a downward price spiral in real estate.

"There might be temporary blips on the radar," said Gary Malin, president of Citi Habitats, a New York-based real estate firm that specializes in rentals and home sales. "But if history teaches us anything, people always rebuild and they always come back."

http://www.cnn.com/2012/11/14/us/new-jersey-irene-sandy/index.html

Posted on: 2012/11/15 16:54
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Healy: Jersey City's response is very inspiring

By The Jersey Journal
November 15, 2012 at 6:11 AM

By MAYOR JERRAMIAH HEALY
SPECIAL TO THE JOURNAL

There isn't a single person in Jersey City who hasn't been affected by Hurricane Sandy. It struck a tremendous blow to our city and our state. My focus over the past two weeks has been squarely on looking out for the safety, security and well-being of all the people, businesses and families here in our city.

Our Office of Emergency Management staff has literally been working around the clock and side by side with the Police Department, the Fire Department, the Department of Public Works, the Incinerator Authority, the Municipal Utilities Authority, the Parking Authority, and numerous other agencies to provide assistance during and in the aftermath of the hurricane.

Communications have been numerous, including several dozen emergency alert notifications, website updates, Facebook updates, tweets, and postings to other social media. Several press conferences were held and personal visits were made to affected communities who may not have had access to media.

On Saturday, we held two "town hall" meetings with FEMA to provide information to residents who suffered damages about the process for receiving aid from the federal government. One of the most heartening moments during this disaster was when on President Barack Obama called me during the height of the storm to tell me that the federal government would do all that it could do to help our city.

A couple days after the storm, President Obama sent representatives to Jersey City to survey the damage, and FEMA representatives have been here since, working out of the command center at OEM. FEMA has opened a Disaster Recovery Center (DRC) at 350 Montgomery St. for residents, open 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily, and a Business Recovery Center has been opened by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) at NJCU, 285 West Side Ave., Suites 189-191, open Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

We are also held a special town hall meeting at 1 p.m., yesterday, at City Hall for business owners affected by Hurricane Sandy.

We observed Veterans Day. And just as we took a moment to thank those who have put our country first and risked their lives to protect our America and the freedoms our country represents, I want to give a special thanks to those police officers, firefighters and first responders who put our city first these past few weeks. Many of them lost their own homes or suffered serious property damage and days without power, yet they responded to the call for assistance from the community.

There are still pockets of our community without power and residents who are struggling without heat, hot water, or the ability to live at home. Many are cleaning out and demolishing parts of their homes. Thousands have lost items precious to them and their families. We ask you to also think of them today. We are a strong Jersey City and together we will come back even stronger. Anyone who needs assistance or has any questions can contact the Mayor's Action Bureau at (201) 547-4900.

These past few weeks we have seen so many neighbors stepping up to help other neighbors during these trying times, which has only reinforced my love and concern for our great city and all of our great citizens. It is a testament to our Jersey City community and the people who live here. I have visited every neighborhood in our city and have heard from so many of you, and just wanted to take this opportunity tell you how truly inspired I am by the will and humanity of our people.

http://www.nj.com/hudson/voices/index ... ey_citys_response_is.html

Posted on: 2012/11/15 16:46
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At Cocoa, we're drying out the CMU walls, then the drywall (we're using a special fiberglass kind that doesn't absorb water, DensGlass) goes up, but not before the wiring for the equipment goes in the walls. Then we paint and install the equipment. The plan is to get the work done by early December right now.

Here's a video interview of Jessie by WSJ. Part two of the four part series on Sandy's recovery featuring Cocoa Bakery will be out in today's edition. You can also find the story online.

http://live.wsj.com/video/jersey-bake ... B8-453F-BCE1-82C74EE278AB

Posted on: 2012/11/15 11:51
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COCOA bakery [flash=,]http://on.wsj.com/ZMEZYH[/flash]


Posted on: 2012/11/15 1:46
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First Irene, then Sandy: Jersey City recovers, again...
Jersey City, New Jersey (CNN) -- When Hurricane Irene roared ashore last year, Jeff Spangler was hit hard.
The slow-moving storm whipped up a powerful tidal surge that breached sea walls protecting Jersey City, a bedroom Manhattan community, and flooded Spangler's home to the tune of thousands of dollars in damage and months of home repair.
This year, it happened again.
Superstorm Sandy and its rare mix of converging weather set records as it barreled into the Northeast on October 29 -- but its local effects may not have seemed so rare to Spangler and others who had survived Irene.
Experts warn of impending superstorm era
Just like in 2011, floodwater poured into the low-lying neighborhoods of Jersey City, knocking out power and filling Spangler's basement.

Now, the father of three says he's considering cutting his losses and moving out.
"The more this flooding happens ... the lower property values will sink," Spangler said. "I'll end up being underwater, literally."
Like many of his neighbors, Spangler rents out his building's first floor to help to pay his mortgage. Now, his tenants are gone, having left in Sandy's brutal aftermath.
"Not only are we dealing with repairs, now we're dealing with the loss of rental income and carrying the full mortgage until we can clean up the area," he said.
New York residents sue utilities after Sandy
When Sandy unleashed its deadly torrent of wind and water, Spangler and his family rode it out inside their home as river wash leaked through his first floor and raised anxieties about how much higher it would get.
A swollen Hudson River had expanded into his backyard. When it finally receded, the flood left an auburn-colored watermark on his basketball hoop backboard.
The hoop was about 7 feet tall.
Afterward, the dials on his electrical boxes filled with bubbling pockets of a brownish liquid that seemed to foreshadow the string of electrical problems that would follow across the region.
Not forgetting the lack of electricity after of Irene, Spangler had prepared for Sandy, purchasing a generator just days before it hit. After the storm, he ran electrical cables across the street to his neighbors' homes, padlocking the generator to his wrought iron stoop out of fear of looting.
"I'm sure there were people watching and waiting for me not to be near that generator," he said.
At the height of the crisis, Spangler said, police and fire officials told him to hide the machine at night because it would take them hours to respond to an incident in his neighborhood.
" 'We're just overstretched,' " he quoted authorities as saying. That triggered shades of vigilante justice across his neighborhood. Jersey City police could not be immediately reached for comment regarding that claim.
"I have neighbors across the street who have firearms who told me, 'Don't worry about it,' " he said. " 'Just call us (if there's a problem) and we'll be right outside with a gun.' "
Preparing for lesser disasters
Sandy triggered massive flooding across the Northeast, yet the effect of the floods may have been especially foul in Jersey City. That's because the city maintains a combined sewer and rain drainage system, meaning floodwater also spewed from pipes, swirled into basements and probably contained raw sewage, according to accounts from local residents and city officials.

This happened with Irene too," Jersey City mayoral spokeswoman Jennifer Morrill said. The sewage "couldn't flow out because the water was at its highest capacity. ... So when the water came into (people's basements), it wasn't just water."
But any sewage overflow was considered minimal, according to the head of Jersey City's Municipal Utilities Authority.
"Did it occur on an extensive basis? Absolutely not," Dan Becht said.
After paying a remediation company to sanitize his basement, Spangler disagrees. He and his neighbors point to the city's antiquated sewer system as a primary culprit.
"I had to get this whole area disinfected," he said, standing in his basement illuminated by floodlights.
Last year, Jersey City's drainage system was the focus of a lawsuit from the Environmental Protection Agency, which said the city failed "to properly operate and maintain its combined sewer system."
The city settled the suit in July of last year and pledged to invest more than $52 million in infrastructure repairs and upgrades.
And yet those incremental updates may actually miss the bigger point, as many say that little done at the municipal level could have blunted the power Sandy unleashed on the region.
The more pressing issue may be how to decipher ways to best protect the city from lesser, more frequent storms, while enlisting federal support for the kind of long-term infrastructure needs that lie ahead.
"Sandy was to some extent unavoidable," Spangler said. "But Irene was a flood that never should have happened."
To rebuild or not
The gas shortages and massive power outages that plagued New Jersey after Sandy and a nor'easter that struck a week later are now starting to dissipate. The state lifted gas rationing orders Monday, and only about 4,000 customers across the state were still without power as of Wednesday. At the height of the storms, more than 3 million customers in New Jersey were without power.

Yet restoring power to many of those still in the dark requires inspectors to go door-to-door to check individual electrical panels, to avoid triggering further damage, such as electrical fires.
Opinion: Rebuilding after Sandy too big a risk
Still, the cost of rebuilding is in the billions. And Tad Drouet, 45, said he expects the damage to his Jersey City home after Sandy to be much higher than it was after Irene.
"Last year, our tab for fixing everything was about $15,000," he said. "This year, it'll be twice that."
Others, like Spangler, are also faced with mounting costs.
"I just spent money again on a washer-dryer," he said. "I bought one last year too. These are the things you buy and expect to last 10 years."
And so the big questions now looming over many of these twice-battered storm victims is, "How much is enough?"
But despite the chorus of post-Sandy voices that warn of a recurring rash of inclement weather, others say market forces will probably still absorb the risks tied to waterfront property and prevent a downward price spiral in real estate.
"There might be temporary blips on the radar," said Gary Malin, president of Citi Habitats, a New York-based real estate firm that specializes in rentals and home sales. "But if history teaches us anything, people always rebuild and they always come back."

http://www.cnn.com/2012/11/14/us/new-jersey-irene-sandy/index.html

Posted on: 2012/11/14 19:46
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Jersey City accepts mops, brooms, cleaning supplies donated by Home Depot

By Michaelangelo Conte/The Jersey Journal
November 14, 2012 at 9:22 AM

New Jersey Lt. Governor Kim Guadagno was on hand for delivery of a truckload of cleaning supplies donated to Jersey City by Home Depot yesterday to help in the Hurricane Sandy recovery.

?We need Jersey City, and we need you up and running and doing what you do best,? Guadagno told Jersey City Mayor Jerramiah Healy at the city?s Office of Emergency Management on Summit Avenue yesterday afternoon.

The mops, brooms, buckets, boxes, trash bags, paper towels, cleaning products and other items delivered represent one of 10 truckloads of supplies donated throughout the state by Home Depot through the Office of Gov. Chris Christie.

?This is an emotional connection to the community and we want the people to know we are there for them,? said Sheldon Celestine, manager of Home Depot on Route 440 in Jersey City. ?This is how we give back to the community.?

Healy added: ?We thank Home Depot, the governor and lieutenant governor for the resources, and they are going to where they are needed most.?

Last night, OEM Director Greg Kierce was working out a distribution plan to get the donated items to residents. The city will likely set up four distribution centers in the city?s worst hit areas where residents can pick up the donated supplies.

City officials hope to have the distribution centers up and running today, city spokeswoman Jennifer Morrill said.

http://www.nj.com/jjournal-news/index ... y_accepts_mops_broom.html

Posted on: 2012/11/14 18:10
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Quote:

Scottacus wrote:
[quote]
Really sucks for the businesses that were there and got flooded though. Especially Cocoa, which took so long in the financial crisis to get going and got hit just before opening (and with no flood insurance yet.)


See the following: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001 ... 04578103604182635218.html.

Posted on: 2012/11/13 20:34
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