|(Courtesy World Maps on Line)|
Friday, November 2, 2012
Someone Left the Cake Out
Three days after Halloween, the nightmare of Hoboken goes on: streets flooded with water, sewerage, fuel oil, and god knows what else. People trapped in apartments with no power, heat, or water. National Guard troops maneuvering its narrow streets to help. I lived in Hoboken, very briefly, in the very early 80's. In fact, I lived in a house on Harrison Street, as far south and west as you could go before running into the palisades of Jersey City Heights. Even a moderate rain would flood the streets--we'd sit on the stoop and watch as drivers determined to drive through the monster puddles or just give up and turn back.
Reason: Much of Hoboken is below sea level. This illustrated map from 1881 gives you a good idea of the situation. In the foreground are the ferry terminal and docks on the Hudson River. As you head inland the city slopes down until it runs up against those palisades. All those empty lots waiting to be built up should by rights be arable farmland or marshes. That's where the water should go. But the helter skelter of development was upon us even then. And the price is being paid today, mostly by the poorest who live in the projects and crappy housing of the backside of the city. Good luck to them. Good luck to us in learning a lesson from Sandy.
Posted by Be the BQE at 10:33 AM