Floodwater Management Study Can Now Begin

Army Corps of Engineers and state will each fund part of a re-evaluation study to determine what can be done to better manage floodwater in the Passaic River Flood Basin.

An agreement is now in place to re-evaluate flood control projects in the Passaic River Basin.

The signing of the cost-sharing agreement between the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and state Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) means that officials can begin comparing flood risk management alternatives for communities in the basin.

The study will re-evaluate a feasibility study for alleviating flooding in the basin the Corps completed in the late 1980s.

The re-evaluation is one of 15 recommendations the Passaic River Flood Advisory Commission stated could help minimize flooding in the basin. Governor Christie created the commission in 2011.

The re-evaluation will be completed in two phases.

Different combinations of potential alleviation alternatives including: levees, floodwalls, and the modification of flow channels, bridges, and dams, will be examined in the conceptual phase. Modifying the Beatties Dam and Two Bridges area will also be examined.

The approved alternatives will be examined in more detail in another phase.

The agreement means the state and federal government will each fund half of the $2.4 million conceptual phase portion of the re-evaluation.

“This agreement is an important milestone toward comprehensive, long-term flooding solutions for communities in the basin,” said Col. John Boule, commander of the Corps’ New York District. “We are committed to collaborating closely with the DEP, our great partner, to rapidly complete the planning that leads to a project that significantly reduces the flood risk to the public that we serve.”

Many flood victims blame the Corps for poorly operating the floodgates on the Pompton Lake dam. Although the Corps manages them, a computer controls when the gates open and close. When the water behind them reaches a certain level, the gates automatically open, causing water to rush out from behind the dam faster than it did before the gates became operational in 2007.

DEP Commissioner Bob Martin said the study and its proposed mitigation solutions would not completely alleviate flooding in the basin.

“We recognize there is no silver bullet to stop flooding in the basin and are making an aggressive effort to move people out of harm’s way through home buyouts and elevations in the most flood-prone areas,” Martin said in a statement.

Hundreds of homes in the basin are in the process of thanks to grant money from the state and federal governments.

The town received $18.5 million to in the Passaic and Pompton River floodways. The Federal Emergency Management Agency to buyout homes in the Hoffman Grove section of town.

— 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

Steve June 15, 2012 at 02:40 AM
Please! One Wayne resident previously posted no problem in 45 yrs; but getting worse each year for the last 7 years. ITS THE GATES STUPID!
leanbean June 15, 2012 at 02:52 AM
@ Steve, I've lived in the Mt.View section of the Township for 69 years. We have had flooding here since I was a kid. Back in the 60's we were in a drought. Then in 68 We got hit with the second worse flood the town has ever seen till the 84 food which took it's places as the second worse flood. And last years became the second worse since 1903. The gates have only been there the last few years. And added to the problem by sending the water into already high river. When they open that gate it is a wall of water coming all at once
Nose Wayne June 15, 2012 at 02:53 AM
Lean, I NOSE that with over 16 inches of rain, we were in a heap of trouble.Yes, The gates are controlled by computer,And WHO controls the computer ? The tunnel was an excellent idea, but just like the transit tunnel that was halted because of cost, the flood tunnel was going along that same track!!
Diane Hummel June 15, 2012 at 01:41 PM
Yay! Another study to find out who is NOT to blame! This is getting very frustrating! Can we just try to do something without 50 million studies about it? If they had built the flood tunnel in the beginning that everyone tells me about, they probably would have saved money in the long run. Do any officials actually use their heads?
Sandy Fantau June 15, 2012 at 02:14 PM
@Leanbean. I think people are talking about the section of Wayne and Pompton Lakes above feeder dam. I have lived in Riverview from 1972. The only time I had water was in 1984. Once the Floodgates where operational my neighborhood has had water at least 6' times. Later this afternoon I will post some spot graphs for you fo look at. You have worked for the township for many years. How many times did you come info Riverview to help compared to Mointainview? You need to compare apples to apples not apples to oranges. I for one know something has changed, because now I'm required to carry flood insurance. The only thing that changed is the floodgates and the increase in flooding from 2007. I hope the people doing the study will talk to long time residence in the effected areas, and also look at the increase of flood claims. This is the only true way to see what is actually happening. I agree with nose Wayne another study to study the study is a waste of time. Local and state officials where a sleep at the wheel when they let this project to be done,'without a complete study on the effects on the lower Passaic River Basin. The mistake was made, I do hope they will correct the problem instead of hiding behind their studies.
Nose Wayne June 15, 2012 at 02:26 PM
Diane,They are doing a study on that to study if the study to use your head can be studied by the original study group.Will get back to us when their done studying.
Diane Hummel June 15, 2012 at 02:36 PM
When they are done studying the study, maybe they will let us study how to get some people replaced with people who do not feel the need to study every study that comes out! And Sandy is absolutely correct - they Hoffman's Grove and Mountainview areas of flooding are completely different from the Riverview flooding. Between us (Riverview), and Pompton Lakes (Dawes Highway area), I think the residents have all come to the same conclusion that the Pompton Dam directly affected us, and we did not need to study long for that at all!
Nose Wayne June 15, 2012 at 02:43 PM
Sandy, Maybe they should get together with you and I and show them the pictures I took of your house and the neighborhood getting FLOODED after the GATES were open.Only in 84 did the water come up that high, but not as bad as this last time. Have hundreds of pictures from all over Wayne and Pompton Lakes.They can study them all they want. Pictures don't lie !!!!
leanbean June 15, 2012 at 02:53 PM
@Sandy Fantau, Your area was flooded in the 68 flood also. I stated that the gates are sending a wall of water into your area. Those gates were meant to work along with the tunnel. So without the tunnel. It's causing more flooding in your area. When the gates get opened and the wall of water starts to flow down stream. I'm not comparing apples to apples. I'm talking about how the flooding has increased. All along the river. You got to remember what ever you get up stream will flow down stream and be that much higher below you. After the other river join in. They need to manage the gates better. Or remove them.
Nose Wayne June 15, 2012 at 03:08 PM
Lean, Remember the1968 flood,Memorial Day Weekend. The Fire Department didn't march in the parade because they were taking people out of their flooded homes.Pompton Plains Crossroads bridge washed out during the flood.That was the worst until 1984 came along and closed Wayne down.Then we had 2011,don't have to tell you about that one either.After 69 years,you have seen that and been thru that.
Sandy Fantau June 15, 2012 at 03:09 PM
I would love it if you would share them. Please stop by one afternoon, Wayne Nose
leanbean June 15, 2012 at 03:24 PM
Reply Nose, Yes I remember all the way back to the the bridge washed out on 202 going into Lincoln Park and the Army Corps of Engs. had the Duck going from the porch of the old Cozy Tavern to Wolfsons parking lot. Taking peopke across the river. That's why I told Sandy and Diane that there area flooded before the 84 flood.
Sandy Fantau June 15, 2012 at 03:47 PM
Sorry Leanbean. I thought we where on different pages of the same book. You are right when you say we are getting hit with a wall water. Still need to post the graphs. They show an increase through all of Wayne and Pequannock.
Support Change June 15, 2012 at 04:12 PM
We all agree that flooding has increased in Wayne. Most feel that the Pompton Dam is a contributing factor. Has the flooding in Oakland in the last 6 years increased as it has in Wayne or is Wayne being exploited while Oakland benefits from a reduction in flooding?
Diane Hummel June 15, 2012 at 05:49 PM
I know for a fact that the flooding in Oakland has significantly decreased - I know someone up there who used to flood all the time, and they have not since the dam was put in, with the exception of Hurricane Irene. We are being slammed, while they are dry.
leanbean June 15, 2012 at 05:57 PM
@Support Change, Oaklands flooding has decreased since the gates were put on line. While we were flooded because of the rush of water thru the gates. Oakland stayed dry. During Irene they were flooded also.
Nose Wayne June 16, 2012 at 01:50 AM
I NOSE they want to develope the old Pleasureland area but they can only do it if the area doesn't flood for FIVE YEARS. Isn't it funny that the MAYOR of OAKLAND is also WAYNE TOWNSHIPS PLANNER. Was saying he had nothing to do with the GATES ?
WayneRick June 16, 2012 at 02:28 AM
Someday, a politician will DO something. Until then, there's always more studies to be had. Because, hey, let's spend millions on NOT solving the problem. It's politically expedient. On the bright side, at least it's not being funded directly by Wayne. That's good money we can use to, uhm, hire a high-end gym coach at the high school for six figures.
leanbean June 16, 2012 at 02:35 PM
NOSE, He is not the Mayor there anymore. He lost his relection bid.
Sandy Fantau June 16, 2012 at 02:42 PM
Nose Wayne the property you are talking about is called Sandy Beach. I believe that property is still privately owned. It is about 15 acres.
Scondo June 16, 2012 at 04:16 PM
Simply not true.
Scondo June 16, 2012 at 04:16 PM
Correct in the extreme.
Scondo June 16, 2012 at 04:16 PM
Not the case .
Scondo June 16, 2012 at 04:19 PM
Take note of the weather realities from 2010 through now, it will explain the frequency of flooding in 2010, 2011 and the fact that there was no Spring flooding in 2012. No snow , now flow come spring. It is simple as that. Big snow big woe come spring.
Sandy Fantau June 16, 2012 at 04:22 PM
Your Oakland Council Representatives are committed to working with Mayor in the best interests of Oakland and its residents. Some of our Teams initiatives are and have been to: Fight the inappropriate use of Eminent Domain (Sandy Beach) and thereby defend and protect the rights of individual property owners, Keep budgetary appropriations at or below the inflation rate, Obtain a federally sponsored flood control project that commenced just this year and other grant funding for a variety of projects, including the Senior Citizens Center, Establish an annual road maintenance program and setup a Capital Improvements Fund to purchase major fire fighting equipment as needed, Support funding to ensure the excellence of our recreation programs such as the Roller Hockey rink, Appoint qualified, conscientious people to all boards and commissions – without regard to party affiliation, and Oppose federally subsidized high-density housing, which the Borough would not be authorized to tax or to give preference to our local seniors.
Steve June 16, 2012 at 08:44 PM
Oh, I don't mind saying it again- everything is more severe and widespread in the last approx. 7 years. ITS THE GATES!!!!!!!!!!! For the love of heaven.
Nose Wayne June 17, 2012 at 12:10 AM
Lean,can't understand why he would loose an election ? Sandy,It's not named after you is it ? ( just kidding). Sandy, I heard a developer was looking to put in some big project ,but it can't flood for five years to get state approval to put the project in. 15 acres is alot of land that can be built on.Where do you think that water from the project will go when it rains.SOUND THE SIRENS,THEIR OPENING THE GATES!!!
leanbean June 17, 2012 at 01:29 AM
Sandy Fantau June 19, 2012 at 10:19 PM
  http://www.northjersey.com/news/opinions/letters/159528655_The_Record__Letters__June_19__2012.html?c=y&page=5   The Record - Letter to the Editor - June 19. 2012 Another study means another wait for relief Regarding "Passaic River study to assess flood prevention options" (Page L-6, June 15): The article reveals the latest step in the seemingly endless process to ameliorate flooding in the Passaic River Basin. This time the state Department of Environmental Protection and the federal Army Corps of Engineers will jointly fund a study designed to analyze various projects that have been proposed to reduce flooding in communities throughout the Passaic River Basin. Engineering projects to be analyzed include construction of levees and flood walls along the Passaic  River; bridge and dam modifications, and proposed changes to the Beattie Dam in Little Falls. The proposed study is an incremental step forward. Regrettably, once again efforts to ameliorate flooding in the Passaic River Basin continue to move at a snail's pace. The proposed study's conceptual draft report is not anticipated until late next year, and then there will be endless discussions about funding and implementation of the report's recommendations. Residents and townships within the Passaic River Basin cannot afford to wait another generation for "real solutions" to the increased pattern of flooding. Arnold Korotkin Little Falls
Elizabeth Szamraj June 26, 2012 at 04:27 PM
"The study will re-evaluate a feasibility study for alleviating flooding in the basin the Corps completed in the late 1980s" What happened between the late 1980's and now. Were they studying then too? I think we should just all gather up on banks of the rivers and go dredge the river ourselves. Then we should take the money given away for the studies and have a great big after cleanup party.


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