Business Owners Discuss Flooding Problems

Politicians begin and dialogue with volunteers and business owners to determine how best to handle flooding and other disasters when they occur. Businesses in the Mountain View section of town remain closed nearly a year after Tropical Storm Irene caused

A few business owners met Wednesday to start a dialogue and see what they can do to help each other the next time disaster strikes.

and a newly-formed sponsored the event.

A few business owners form the Mountain View section of town attended the gathering. The area is often one of the first in town to flood. Several businesses were closed for months after Tropical Storm Irene hit last August. Some haven't . .

“It was a mess and it still is a mess,” said Ron Katoni, president of Advance Medical Supply on Legion Place. “The business owners I’m talking to all say that the flooding is too much of a disruption. This should be a thriving business community.”

Assemblyman Scott Rumana attended the meeting. He said that a permanent solution must be found before flooding begins to cripple the local economy.

Several homes in town are being bought out and demolished. But Rumana said that is not enough. He said constructing a flood tunnel and moving the water out to Newark Bay is a viable solution that state and federal officials should seriously consider backing.

“If we lose these businesses, we lose our jobs, we lose our economy and we can’t allow that to happen,” Rumana said.

Others agreed.

Therese Farid, a local team leader for Project Recover encouraged those in attendance to talk to each other on a regular basis. She stressed the importance of working together.

Project Recover is a minister of Catholic Charities. The organization helps disaster victims recover from situations more quickly than they could on their own.

For more information about Wayne VOAD, visit its Web site. For more information about VOAD, how it is helping residents and local businesses, or to receive aid call Alyssa Cimino, VOAD’s liaison to the business community, at 973-986-0412 or e-mail her at Alyssa.a.cimino@gmail.com.

— Have a question or news tip? Contact editor Daniel Hubbard at Daniel.Hubbard@patch.com or find us on Facebook and Twitter. For news straight to your inbox, sign up for our daily newsletter.

Chris Schillander July 27, 2012 at 04:33 AM
i saw the floodgates opened last year...the water was coming out so fast and hard, hitting the bridge with such force that the water was being forced upstream...ive never seen where a river is flowing in one direction down the center, but in the opposite direction on the banks...yet, upstream in oakland, there was no water spilling over the banks in the notoriously bad floodzone there...
Sandy Fantau July 27, 2012 at 01:33 PM
Rob, I was invited to the event by Catholic Charities. A lady from the group was walking around the neighborhood looking for people that might need help. Councilwomen Miller Ryan and Rev. Radcliffe where here to talk to some people in the neighborhood who are still having problems with their banks. They didn't even mention the event. Again sorry for taking so long to post. Should have called.
Sandy Fantau July 27, 2012 at 01:52 PM
It is my understanding that in order to sue the Army Corp or DEP the suit must be filed within 5 days of the flooding event. They are protected by a statute of limitations. That being said there is just not enough time to put together a class action suit in that time frame. After Hurrican Irene I think most people did not even get a chance to asses their damages in 5 days. From my understanding governour Witman put the stop on the flood tunnel, but let the floodgates get built anyway. There is plenty of information stating the floodgates where put in to protect communities upstream. I have been trying to find any study that might have been done about the effects of the floodgates without the tunnel. So far I can find nothing, so I assume it was never done and they where put in with no consideration of the communities down stream. I do hope our representives are looking into the fact that communities up stream want to line the Ramapo River with rock to help stop the erosion problem that is happening up stream from us. This will only make the water come to us faster.
Rob Burke July 27, 2012 at 01:57 PM
you mean 'former floodzone,' right?
Sandy Fantau July 27, 2012 at 05:29 PM
Joe I agree that they need to put a moratorium on building within the flood zones. However I don't see that happening any where in NJ or any other state. I have a friend who live in SC, in a flood zone and they are trying to fight the building of a Walmart within the zone. To make things crazier they want to fill in 20 or so acreas with 20 ft of fill. They are looking to build a mail in mawaha along the Ramapo River. This also is a flood zone. Maybe a good start would be for FEMA, blue acreas, and any other program to buy the property that can be built on now that is within any flood zone in the state. This way you are not adding any more buildings or people within this sensitive area. The DEP won in court that Top Soil Depot filled in there property and that it is contaminated with carcinogens. Why haven't steps been taken to remove the soil and bring the property back to the levels before it was filled in. If I'm not mistaken I believe about 10 new homes where built in my neighborhood from 1984. I think about 6 homes are being raised above the flood level, so they should not be a major burden on flood insurance any more. From the time the floodgates became operational in 2007 there has been repetive damage to all homes below the floodgates. I believe my neighborhood has been hit at least 7 times. Just for your information you can not put in a flood claim unless you and your neighbors have water surrounding their home. That means most non-major floods are not covered.


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