DeCroce: Flood Relief Efforts Must Go Beyond Dam Study

April 18, 2012

District 26 Assemblywoman BettyLou DeCroce said the recent Department of Environmental Protection report on the impact of the Pompton Lakes dam on downstream flooding appears to eliminate one concern about flooding. But she added that the study makes clear that there is a need for a  long-term solution to flooding in the region. 

“While the report eliminates the dam operation as a major contributor to the recent series of devastating floods in the region, it raises concern about what needs to be done to protect homes and businesses in the Passaic River Basin,” said DeCroce in a statement.

“The DEP and its consultant did a good job with their flooding report and their efforts are a reminder that Gov. Chris Christie’s administration has not forgotten about the issue,” she said.

“But for people who have seen their homes and all their cherished possessions destroyed by raging flood waters, there are still a lot of unanswered questions about how to deal with flooding and that is a concern to me,” added the Assemblywoman. 

The 600-page report on flooding in the Passaic River basin was done in  response to the recommendations of the governor’s Passaic River Basin Flood Advisory Commission to evaluate the downstream consequences of the floodgate operations.  The DEP retained the services of AECOM to evaluate the operational impacts of the Pompton Lakes Dam Floodgate Facility in reference to significant flood events including those relating to Hurricane Irene, which damaged many homes in Parsippany and nearby communities last August. 

The report, unveiled last week in Lincoln Park, concluded that the floodgate operation, in which water from Pompton Lake Reservoir was released prior to heavy rains, did not contribute to the increased flooding downstream from the dam.

“The good news is the Pompton Lakes dam is not making flooding worse. Now we have to get to the next step and put the efforts of the state and federal government into finding flooding solutions that protect people’s lives and property,” said DeCroce.

 A $121 million federal buyout of flood-prone homes in North Jersey is ongoing and some Lake Hiawatha homes are being raised to protect them from raging rivers.

More than 50 township homes were designated as severely damaged, meaning that the buildings must be either raised above the 100-year flood line or destroyed.

Parsippany officials are also looking into the possibility of buying some of the properties and turning them into open space should federal efforts not go far enough. 

“While I appreciate the federal buyout program and the state’s efforts to help flooded communities, the reality is that buyouts and raising homes are helpful, but they are not the global solution we need,” said DeCroce, who lives in Parsippany.

“We can’t buy out every home and business that floods. And buyouts will have a detrimental impact on tax revenue and employment in the region,” added the assemblywoman. 

“I believe we need more help from the federal government to create levees and flood walls that will keep the rivers from flooding our neighborhoods, our highways and our businesses,” said DeCroce.


Plan Proposed for Permanent Flooding Fix

April 12, 2012

Buying out homes, improving the operation of the floodgates and dredging local rivers are all viable steps that can be taken as part of permanent solution to alleviating flooding in the Passaic River Flood Basin, the head of an environmental group said Tuesday.

“The first thing we need to do is vacate the flood plain and that’s being done, which is a good first step,” Ella Filippone, executive director of the Passaic River Coalition, told a gathering sponsored by the Wayne League of Wo...

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Full reservoirs do contribute significantly to flood crests.

February 22, 2012

Ladies & Gentleman - below was a forum on the Delaware River Flooding moderated by a NY TIMES reporter- the attendees were all very well qualified “experts” and concluded “full reservoirs DO contribute significantly to flood crests, and, while managing a water supply system is complex, the NYCDEP is not doing a good job of it.”

What preceded was the following news release

The million dollar question becomes if this can be done for t...

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DEP Still Working on Floodgate Report

February 22, 2012

The state Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) is still working on a report on the operation of the floodgates on the Pompton River dam.

“We’re still working on the report,” said Larry Hajna, a DEP spokesman. “The goal is the release the findings later this month.”

Governor Chris Christie last year said the report would be complete Feb. 1.

Christie after touring flood-ravaged areas in the Passaic River Flood Basin after Hurricane Irene struck the area in August of last ye...

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Pennacchio Proposes $2 Billion Bond to Remediate Passaic River Flooding

October 25, 2011

Senator Joe Pennacchio, a member of the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee, announced today that he is proposing a $2 billion bond issue to alleviate flooding along the Passaic River. The bond issue would have to be approved by voters.

“The Passaic River has been flooding severely for decades, and following Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee is it obvious that the Passaic River Basin needs a long-term permanent fix,” Pennacchio began. “I have had preliminary conversations wit...

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Lowe's Scraps Rt. 46 Plan

October 17, 2011

A plan by Lowe's to build a 137,000-square-foot home improvement store plus a garden center on the site of a junkyard on westbound Route 46 in Montville has been scrapped, the company said.

A planner for Lowe's e-mailed the town last month saying the company was backing off its plan to build, Mayor Jim Sandham said.

Sandham said the e-mail from Lowe's didn't give a clear reason for the change of course. He said Montville officials would be seeing if anything can be done to save the project....

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Legislation to provide Irene relief could face long delay

October 14, 2011
State House Bureau

Legislation that would get money to North Jersey communities hit hard by Hurricane Irene this year cleared the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee on Thursday, but could now face a long delay due to election-year politics.

The committee, which listened to testimony from several local elected officials from North Jersey, passed two flood-relief measures sponsored by Sen. Robert Gordon, D-Fair Lawn,...

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Fair Lawn senator sponsors flood relief bills

October 12, 2011
Monday, October 10, 2011
The Record

The state Senate Budget Committee will hear a bill on Thursday sponsored by Sen. Robert Gordon, D-Fair Lawn, called the Emergency Transportation and Water Infrastructure Recovery Bond Act of 2011. It would authorize the state to issue $100 million in bonds to pay for repairs and infrastructure improvements needed in the wake of Hurricane Irene.

The Budget Committee will also hear another bill sponsored by Gordon, S-307...

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To ALL State & Federal Senators, Congressman and Legislatures

September 20, 2011

To ALL State & Federal Senators, Congressman and Legislatures the voters and taxpayers of Northern NJ demand proactive measures be implemented in the short term to reduce and eliminate the yearly devastation of flooding not only along the Passaic River banks but for homes, businesses and schools miles away. This plea is not just the result of Hurricane Irene but what has become a yearly event for all the residents since 2007.


The people you represent are NOT in need of further studies but are...

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President Declares Disaster For New Jersey

September 2, 2011

WASHINGTON -- The U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) announced that federal aid has been made available to the State of New Jersey to supplement state and local recovery efforts in the area affected by Hurricane Irene beginning on August 27, 2011, and continuing.

The President's action makes federal funding available to affected individuals in Bergen, Essex, Morris, Passaic, and Somerset counties. 

Assistance can include grants for temporary housin...

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