A long-term solution to the Passaic River's chronic flooding will be a costly, multi-faceted strategy that will have to include restricting development in the floodplain, according to Colonel John Boule, commander of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers New York District.
"You really got to take a look at where you're building," Boule said. "Stop building in the floodplain, and then we have got to find a solution to the problems that already exist. Unfortunately, that will require major investments at both the local, state and federal level."
Flood waters in New Jersey continue to create hardship for thousands of residents along the Passaic River and its tributaries in the aftermath of Tropical Storm Irene. The damage has drawn federal attention: President Barack Obama plans to visit the state to observe the damage on Sunday.
Earlier this year, an expert panel appointed by Governor Chris Christie after major flooding along the Passaic in 2010 concluded that it would cost more than $3 billion to buy out more than 6,000 flood vulnerable homes along the Passaic.