"A Climate Change Success Story? Look at Hoboken."

"This flood-prone city on the Hudson River has bundled water-absorbing infrastructure into benefits residents asked for, like parks and safer streets."

"The city of Hoboken, N.J., once a marshy outcropping that the Lenape inhabited only seasonally, hugs the Hudson River. Three-quarters of it occupies a flood plain. It is, in other words, a water magnet. Some scientists have forecast that, with rising seas, a big chunk of Hoboken will be Atlantis by 2100.

But for more than a decade this city of some 60,000 residents has been trying to thwart fate — and it is making progress. In 2012, Hurricane Sandy left Hoboken underwater and without electricity for days, causing more than $110 million worth of property damage. The city had to call in the National Guard.

In September, another storm socked the city. Though it wasn’t nearly as severe as Sandy, it still dumped more than 3.5 inches of rain on a single Friday morning, 1.44 inches of it during the hour that coincided with high tide. Early in the day, television crews filmed flooded intersections. City officials declared a state of emergency.

Except this time was different. Across the river, the same storm drowned several of New York City’s subway lines and forced Brooklyn residents to wade through thigh-deep water. But in Hoboken, the fire department only towed six cars, and by that evening there were just a few inches of standing water at three of 277 intersections. An arts and music festival, the city’s biggest cultural blowout and moneymaker, remained on course for the weekend. Television crews, returning to Hoboken early Saturday to film the usual aftermath, left empty-handed. The city’s flooding was no longer news."

Michael Kimmelman reports for the New York Times November 3, 2023.

Source: NYTimes, 11/06/2023