We need to pull together again

Dear Editor:
It is not only the residents facing the possibility of a wall directing water into and blocking access to their homes who should be asking questions about the Rebuild by Design concepts and asking if there is a better way to protect Hoboken from future storm surges. The concept a Garden Street wall and its planned 3.5 year construction process will also affect at least two schools in the area – Elysian Charter and Hoboken Montessori – as well as all the children who live on these blocks. It will affect everyone in Northeast Hoboken who will remain in a flood zone if and when there is another storm surge – approximately 14 percent of the city population. This includes residents of the buildings along the waterfront who will be trapped in their homes, possibly without access to emergency services, in the event of a flood. Ground floor businesses in this area will suffer from flooding, or at least, loss of business. City infrastructure, especially the piers and waterfront walkway we all treasure so much, will be damaged by repeated flooding. Residents on Garden Street who did not previously flood from storm surge (although many did and do flood from sewer back up!) will now be flooded, as well. Everyone wants the same thing: safety for their families. Residents raising concerns about these plans – which appear to have taken none of these issues into consideration – have the same motivation that is leading the mayor to push for the walls to be built in the first place: safety.
Why aren’t we all demanding a solution that solves the flooding problem and increases safety for everyone? Or at the very least, a solution that stops the flooding problem for some without harming others? We elected our officials to represent all residents, and that is what they should be doing. The people of Hoboken came together after Sandy, let’s come together again.

Stephanie Rostan
Hoboken Resident

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