Hoboken mayor: Water pumps were working despite major flooding

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The mayor of Hoboken says that the city’s water pumps were working correctly, despite major flooding in the city during Wednesday’s thunderstorms.

Parts of the city near Madison and Ninth streets were under water Wednesday night when powerful storms rolled through the area. Some Hoboken residents woke up Thursday morning to cars that would not start due to flood damage.

Hoboken is no stranger to flooding, and the city has spent millions on a flood resiliency program. Mayor Ravi Bhalla says that despite the flooding, the water pumps were working correctly. He says that it would have been much worse without them.

Bhalla says that Wednesday saw a “perfect storm” that led to the flooding.

“We had, within a 15-minute period, one-inch of rain during high tide,” Ravi says, “But the good news is that our pumps were fully operational. They did their job. They made the waters recede at a much quicker pace than would have receded 10 years ago, so we've made a lot of progress."

He says that Hoboken’s focus on green infrastructure is helping: rain gardens, permeable pavement outside City Hall and a cistern system that traps rainwater for later use. He says that all of these programs are working to mitigate flooding events. He promises residents progress is being made.

“Flooding will occur. Hoboken is not immune to flooding. But I think we’ve done an admiral job of mitigating the impacts of these types of events,” Bhalla says.

The mayor says that the water pumps got rid of 15 million gallons of water Wednesday. He says that the city will break ground on a third water pump in September.

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