Superstorm Sandy turns 3; plans for Hoboken microgrid among chief initiatives

HOBOKEN – Three years ago on Oct. 29, Superstorm Sandy wreaked havoc in Hoboken. 500 million gallons of water flooded the streets and 90 percent of the city lost power. In a release this morning the city says its making progress to protect the city from future storms with flood-resistant parks and a city-wide microgrid.
“We are making real progress towards implementing a comprehensive water management strategy in collaboration with the DEP, federal government, and neighboring cities, and thanks to the dedicated work of our resident volunteers on the Community Advisory Group,” said Mayor Dawn Zimmer. “I strongly encourage our community to remain involved so we build consensus and implement this plan with the goals of reducing flood risk and lowering flood insurance costs.”
In the summer, the city collaborated with Greener by Design and Environmental Defense Fund’s (EDF) Climate Corps to design a microgrid that would supply back-up power to 55 critical buildings in Hoboken such as fire stations, pharmacies, as well as low-income and senior housing. Funds to design the grid were taken from the city’s recovery fund. The EDF Corps is a program that matches graduate students with organizations to develop sustainability projects.
The result of the collaboration was the Resilient Microgrids Toolkit. Officials said “the toolkit provides the city with the resources necessary to establish and maintain a clean and resilient microgrid.”
Although the microgrid is not live, the project helps planner identify the city’s most vulnerable citizens. A case study on the microgrid toolkit is available at
The mile square city has also funded construction of a wet weather pump slated for completion next year. Parks with the capacity to mitigate thousands of gallons of stormwater runoff are also in the works: 6-acre BASF property in the northwest, Southwest Park which is scheduled to break ground by the end of the year, and 2 acre resiliency park and plaza at 7th and Jackson streets.
“The city is also working with the State of New Jersey to implement a ‘Resist, Delay, Store, Discharge’ flood resiliency strategy which received $230 million through the Rebuild by Design competition,” the announcement says.
A scoping meeting to discuss the Rebuild by Design plan was held in September. The meeting is available at To read our story on Rebuild by Design visit–Public-speaks-out-at-first-meeting-for-$230-million-flood-project-.

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