photo by Boyd Loving
the staff of the Ridgewood blog
Ridgewood NJ, there is nothing more ridiculous than claiming “climate change” as a reason for poor planning . Forced over development, including turf fields in floodplains is a function of greed , and stupidity . Everyone, living or dead, knew the Ridgewood high school field flooded every time it rained . This has been documented since the school was built in 1895.
The problem has been exacerbated by the multitude of turf fields that line the Ho-Ho-Kus brook and Saddle River . Saddle River had massive flooding problems in the 1970’s and was eventually widened to increase water flow and reduce flooding .
If you add the massive high density housing projects all over Ridgewood and the county drainage becomes a significant issue .
A short glimpse at the historical and geologic record would suggest ,yes climate changes , just ask the dinosaurs . George Washington dealt with 7 feet of snow in Morristown in 1777. Dust Bowl in the 1930’s was a period of severe dust storms that greatly damaged the ecology and agriculture of the American and Canadian prairies . 1938 New England Hurricane (aka the Long Island Express) was one of the deadliest and most destructive tropical cyclones to strike Long Island, New York, and New England. The storm made landfall as a Category 3 hurricane on Long Island on September 21. Its called weather !
a reader said ,“FActual definition . . . . 100-year flood plain (FEMA Flood zone designation “Class A”) – a 1% chance of annual flooding. The above definition is incorrect but used colloquially.
Why have we experienced more frequent flooding and greater flood magnitude? To start with, we have climate change impacts, but I’m not going to debate that here. The science is clear on this point . Unfortunately, we have allowed ourselves to hardscape every square inch we can with little consideration to run-off impacts. Yes, our government needs NOT to issue those variances for oversized houses on little lots (I’m aware there are stormwater retention requirements, but they are insufficient). However, property owners can do a great deal to ensure their properties are not contributing to the problem . . . they can direct their downspouts to absorption areas on their properties (not have them dump into your driveways), get a rain barrel, plant more trees, get an impervious surface driveway, and build green roofs on commercial buildings. Much more can be done in terms of individual responsibility.
I don’t believe that any flood control/remedial actions would meet the federal government’s requirements under a cost-benefit analysis. In other words, it is unlikely the federal government would provide direct assistance. Locally, desnagging the Ho-Ho-Kus brook and Saddle River would likely help as would raising the bridge at the high school. Local governments CAN receive federal funds through the Flood Mitigation Assistance Program, which provides grants for projects that reduce or eliminate the risk of repetitive flood damage to buildings insured by the National Flood Insurance Program. I am sure there are a plethora of federal grants that could be applied for to provide for local initiatives to address localized flooding.”