OP-ED: NJ NEEDS STORMWATER UTILITIES TO DEAL WITH EXTREME WEATHER, FLOODING
New Jersey, the most densely developed state in the country, is extremely vulnerable to the growing threat of severe weather and intense rainstorms
If 83 percent of a population was reporting symptoms of an illness, it would be an epidemic. Community leaders would certainly act to address the crisis and protect their constituency.
In a survey of more than 350 communities in 48 states released in November, researchers found that 83 percent of communities experienced local inland flooding. The report, by the University of Maryland and Texas A&M University details the first-ever study to assess the scope and consequences of urban flooding on a national level, and the results are staggering.
The study suggested that much of the damage caused by local flooding was the result of overwhelmed drainage systems and the impact of development on natural drainage patterns. The problem is so pervasive that 85 percent of communities experienced flooding outside of designated Flood Hazard Areas. The report concludes with a sobering finding — the federal government is not helping, so it’s up to state and local officials to address this problem.