Flooding aftermath: ‘The most intense rainfall…we’ve seen in years,’ Hoboken mayor says

The mayor of Hoboken says that he is just as frustrated as his residents after the city flooded yet again due to heavy rainfall.

News 12 Staff

Jul 23, 2020, 10:17 AM

Updated 1,370 days ago

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The mayor of Hoboken says that he is just as frustrated as his residents after the city flooded yet again due to heavy rainfall.
Powerful thunderstorms Wednesday night dropped a near-record-breaking amount of rain, leading to widespread flooding in the city.
Hoboken is no stranger to flooding conditions, but areas of the city that don’t normally flood did Wednesday night, as 2 inches of rain fell in 2 1/2 hours. At the height of the storm, a full inch of rain fell in just eight minutes.
“What you saw last night was the most intense rainfall in the shortest amount of time we’ve seen in years,” says Mayor Ravi Bhalla.
The storm drains, which are connected to the city’s sewer system, were cleaned prior to the storm but still could not keep up. Nor could the wet-weather pumps, retention parks, rain gardens and other mitigation projects meant to curb flooding.
“The intensity within that short amount of time overwhelmed the system, in a matter that we couldn’t keep flooding sub-surface and did see some flooding above,” Bhalla says.
Watch: Hoboken community struggles to recover after street flooding
The mayor says that he is asking his residents for understanding, pointing to two “50-year” types of storms in two weeks and climate change. He says that without the many mitigation programs in the city, things would have been much worse.
“Those two pumps pump out 15 million gallons of rainwater alone. But for those pumps, we could still be sitting in water today,” Bhalla says.
A third pump will be installed in Hoboken in the future. The mayor says that the only way to rid Hoboken of flooding completely is to replace the city’s entire sewer system, which would cost about $3 billion.
PHOTOS: July 22 Thunderstorms
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