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Debris Build Up in the Ho-Ho-Kus Brook May be Contributing to Flooding at Ridgewood High School

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photos courtesy of Boyd Loving

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ, Ridgewood resident Boyd Loving caught some pics of blockage in Ho-Ho-Kus Brook near Spring Avenue that may be contributing to flooding at Ridgewood High School.  Before we blame every thing on “Climate Change”, in New Jersey, the responsibility of cleaning debris from clogged waterways can vary depending on the location and type of waterway. According to the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, “the property owner of the land under the river or stream is responsible for debris removal after a storm event.

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Property owner information is typically found on a survey or a tax map. Contact your municipality for more information. In certain situations, when a state of emergency is declared by the State after a storm event, a municipality, county, or state agency may elect to pursue debris removal for certain stretches of a waterway to alleviate an imminent threat and/or to address an ongoing threat to the community at large.”

On the NJDEP website it goes on to say “Waters of the State” means the ocean, and its estuaries, all springs, streams, wetlands, and bodies of surface or ground waters, whether natural or artificial, within the boundaries of the State of New Jersey or subject to its jurisdiction. This term applies to the jurisdiction of the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) to regulate an entity (private property owner,
municipality, other state agency, or federal agency) when work is performed within waters of the state. Even though DEP regulates work within these waters, the State does not generally own
waterways and is not responsible to address erosion or other impacts to that waterway after a storm even.

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19 thoughts on “Debris Build Up in the Ho-Ho-Kus Brook May be Contributing to Flooding at Ridgewood High School

  1. There was probably a long period in America when somebody would have pulled that stick out of the stream.

    1. The school needs to organize a cleanup debris day to help alleviate the situation

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      1. Are you kidding?

        These kids can’t even get up on time.
        You can’t expect them to actually do any manual labor!

  2. Sorry, not buying it.

    That’s hardly an obstacle for a swollen river.

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  3. There are trees down in the brook from hohokus all the way down to Glenrock. We’ve been saying this for three months now.

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  4. The next storm will simply wash these down river. This is not the issue with RHS flooding.

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  5. What a horribly misleading headline. Who says? You? Boyd? Who are you people? What qualifications do you have to make such an assessment? Based on what evidence? What flooding at the high school? Some more context is needed please.

    Here’s my headline:
    Organic debris build up in the Ho-Ho-Kus Brook may be providing beavers with free luxury homes. Before we blame climate change for the gentrification of our rivers by these young mostly Gen-Z beavers, perhaps we should take it upon ourselves to further ruin their natural habitats.

    I think my point is to ask more questions. And demand factual answers and contextual reporting from a “news” source.

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  6. Cleaning the brook should be part of our village maintenance processes. But my feeling is it is being left undone so they can justify building more sports fields away from flooding zones.

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  7. I understand.

  8. What about all the sand bars in the brook.

  9. The village is definitely not doing the same maintenance as they used to regarding all the Brooks and waterways Greeks ditches so on, why well, we don’t know.

  10. there is a reason its called a flood plain….

  11. We can’t understand is why are these trees still on the brook. There has been no snow so far this winter so instead of the crews, plowing the streets, go and remove a few trees in the brook. What else you doing. Except right around.

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  12. These are not obstacles for water to flow over. It’s called wetlands, it’s normal. It’s not normal to build in a floodplain and complain about flooding.

  13. True. But remove the trees in the brook rivers, who’s responsibility is that.

  14. We need to be more attentive to the problems when it comes to schools and children.

  15. While acknowledging the broader impact of climate change, it’s important to appreciate the responsibility that property owners hold for clearing debris from waterways and the potential for collaborative emergency action as outlined by the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection. Thanks for sharing the article.

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  16. Thank you for highlighting the debris issue in Ho-Ho-Kus Brook and its impact on Ridgewood High School’s flooding. It raises important questions about local environmental management and the need for clearer guidelines on debris removal responsibilities.

  17. Thanks for the candid peek into the less-than-perfect side of teaching. It’s a relatable reminder that educators, too, navigate the challenge of keeping their workspaces in order.

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