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Plan Proposed for Permanent Flooding Fix

Buyouts, dredging, and changing the way local floodgates are operated are all part comprehensive plan.

Buying out homes, improving the operation of the floodgates and dredging local rivers are all viable steps that can be taken as part of permanent solution to alleviating flooding in the Passaic River Flood Basin, the head of an environmental group said Tuesday.

“The first thing we need to do is vacate the flood plain and that’s being done, which is a good first step,” Ella Filippone, executive director of the Passaic River Coalition, told a gathering sponsored by the Wayne League of Women Voters. “Then the basin can flood and no one will care because no one will be in harm’s way.”

Wayne has already , including Riverside Drive, Riverlawn Drive, and Fayette Avenue. Dozens of homes in the .

“Once you vacate the flood plain, you can reassess what has to happen regarding other aspects of the problem,” Filippone said. Her group is a non-profit organization dedicated to improving the local watershed and alleviating flooding in the basin.

Residents say that the operation of the floodgates on the Pompton River dam is causing more severe flooding to occur downstream from the dam. Township engineer John Szabo has said that the gates

The gates are programmed to rise when the water behind the dam reaches a certain point. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers oversees their operation. The gates . Several feet of water was drained down stream as a result, but the area was still hit with record flooding.

“There has to be a more systemized way of dealing with how the gates are operated,” Filippone said.

Filippone said that people, not computers, need to decide when the gates are raised.

Rivers within the floodplain, including the Pompton and Wanaque Rivers, need to be dredged immediately.

“Those rivers need to be brought back to their original condition before all this development took place,” Filippone said. “The water has to be able to drain quickly from the area.”

The remediation and buyout processes will be slow, Filippone said.

“There’s isn’t a quick fix to the problem. It is gong to take time,” Filippone said. “But there has to be a better formula when dealing with the management of water in the floodplain.”

Scondo March 21, 2012 at 03:38 PM
We shall forever more refer to this as the SCONDO plan, which I had written to the Governor's Commission at the time they were formed, before the last rounds of flooding, were it only that they have the resources to act on it. There is also a need to measure the depth of the snow pack at critical times and release waters from detention assets before the big run off. In other words lower the lakes and reservoirs in January and let the run off fill them in February and March, slow the overflow when you can.
lisa March 23, 2012 at 01:53 AM
so the answer is make the people leave because they are to lazy to fix the problem i've been here 38 years i can honestly say this has to be insane i've never seen it flood like this in all the years i've lived here the last 10 years have been insane i would love to pay taxes in another town were at lease i get what i pay for a clean neighborhood
Elizabeth Szamraj March 29, 2012 at 07:25 PM
Sometimes you have to adapt and be flexible. This is no way to live. I am happy to be leaving to a nice little house on a hill. After 6 floods last year and multiple watches and warnings in between, my nerves can't take it anymore. The neighborhoods are dirty and messy from last year. I think no one should live in the flood plain.
Maria Polizzi April 11, 2012 at 07:55 PM
the people who govern these dams make to much money from them. like we have a fall back mandate during droughts, there should also be a mandate by the governor when the reservoirs are maxed or near to be, to lower them to avoid flooding down stream...follow the $$$ that is the hold ups.
sam weber April 13, 2012 at 01:00 PM
I live in Pompton. Between all the watches and warnings every summer/fall my family is sick of it. Between Pompton and Wayne, the floods have shutdown retail businesses that will never return. These areas have a horrible reputation and will probably never grow as do other towns. The fact that the study of the Pompton dam now reports this is not causing excess flooding-is hogwash. Anyone living in these areas have noticed drastic changes in flooding since the dam went into place. You can have all the engineering firms in world study this but unless they sit in someone’s house during a flood, their findings make no logical sense. In the meantime I would suggest significant effort be put forth the dredge the Pompton and Wanaque rivers. Do it now before more rain causes more floods and these towns end up being vacated totally over the next few years. I just don’t understand why there is so much discussion about this but no actions to resolve the problem. Like any other governmental agency, there’s too much rhetoric and not enough action. Put your efforts into fixing the problem instead of analyzing the situation. You’re all going through a severe cases of analysis by paralysis.
Elizabeth Szamraj April 13, 2012 at 01:34 PM
“There’s isn’t a quick fix to the problem. It is gong to take time,” Filippone said. Really? How much time? The "officials" have been working on this for 35 years. I am sick of these incomptent bloated bureaucrats. They have time to attend dinners, ceremonies, and grin for the camera all day long. "HEY SENATORS - DO SOME REAL WORK!!!!"
Cathy Cote May 02, 2012 at 09:55 PM
Maria P. I completely agree with you! Elizabeth, did you get a buy out? I am on Riveredge Drive in Pompton Lakes and I am unable to get a buy out. I am not even on a grant list for elevation. I had to elevate thru my insurance company.

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