In the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy, some residents canoed through the streets of Hoboken, New Jersey. Almost eighty percent of the city was flooded – including fire stations, senior centers, electrical stations, and sewage treatment plants.

Zimmer: “The Hudson River came in on us and literally filled up the city like a bathtub.”

That’s Mayor Dawn Zimmer. She says that beyond Sandy, Hoboken recently experienced six other major floods as a result of severe rainstorms.

Zimmer: “I believe we’re on the front lines of climate change. It’s happening, and we’re working as fast as we can to implement long-term solutions. And we’re also working very hard on short-term solutions to help try and keep people safe through the storms as they occur.”

Zimmer says the long-term goal is to help Hoboken live with water. The city is creating gardens and open spaces that will filter and delay stormwater from entering the sewer system; storing excess water when possible; and implementing a drainage plan to divert the rest.

The city is also doing community outreach to help people prepare to shelter safely in their homes during a storm, or evacuate to a location with supplies and a backup generator.

Reporting credit: ChavoBart Digital Media.
Photo: New Jersey National Guard in flooded Hoboken following Hurricane Sandy (Source: Wikipedia)

More Resources
The Post-Sandy Resilience of Hoboken, New Jersey
Hurricane Sandy Rebuilding Task Force: Rebuild by Design
Hoboken Wins $230M Funding for Flood Management Project
Hoboken Mayor Gets U.S. Flood Money in Awkward Ceremony With Christie
A City Or A Swamp? One Year Later, Hoboken Still Struggling With Sandy

Diana Madson

Diana Madson has been a regular contributor with Yale Climate Connections since April 2014. She enjoys exploring U.S.-based stories about unexpected and innovative solutions to climate change. In addition...