Hoboken Flood Plan Enters Some Uncharted Waters

By Katie Colaneri, WBGO News
February 14, 2013

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Hoboken Mayor Dawn ZImmer wants to build two new flood walls to buffer future storm surges.

As the state decides how to dispense millions in federal disaster aid, Hoboken Mayor Dawn Zimmer wants their support to enter some uncharted waters.

Hoboken’s new flood mitigation plan would involve putting up two flood walls to protect the city from storm surges. New FEMA flood maps show two-thirds of the city is at risk for flooding and could see insurance rates go up.

Jon Miller is a Coastal Engineer at Stevens Institute of Technology. He says the flood walls are a better alternative than raising the city up on piles as FEMA normally requires. 

“You’d have to come up with some sort of a system that would meet the FEMA criteria to reduce the risk and if you reduce the risk, then you wouldn’t have these insurance impacts that potentially you would have.”

The city hasn’t announced a price tag for the plan, but Miller says installing flood walls can reach into the tens of millions. He thinks the price could be worth it.


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