Streams

NJ Recovery: Four Weeks Post-Sandy

Monday, November 26, 2012

Several Jersey Shore communities suffered massive damage during Sandy. (Scott Gurian/WNYC)

Nancy Solomon, managing editor of New Jersey Public Radio, discusses the status of the recovery in New Jersey four weeks after Sandy.

Guests:

Nancy Solomon

Comments [21]

Margaret from UWS Manhattan

To Caller Barry, "Foundations of houses can be built to allow water in and out, for not too much more cost". I've been thinking of concrete house, and area, foundations since extreme summer flooding began to be usual within this past decade - But if hurricane water flooded THE AREA up into the 2nd floor of houses, where's it going to drain to!? I agree with CaptDrG - maybe tourist shoreline facilities can be built so that part of lifestyle and commerce isn't lost; but whole neighborhoods need to build the first two floors of concrete, stone, or sea-worthy wood. Maybe many will accept smaller houses, because they care to be there.

Nov. 26 2012 04:13 PM
amalgam from NYC by day, NJ by night

Here's more on the NJ Transit train storage preparedness (or lack thereof). As a daily rider I know the pain and the lack of productivity that occurs when good, efficient transit into NYC is disrupted.

With Many Trains Damaged, N.J. Transit Is Criticized Over Where It Stored Them
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/11/22/nyregion/storm-damage-prompts-criticism-of-new-jersey-transits-train-storage-plan.html

Also, better planning and avoidance of flood zones - not just "engineering" - must be incorporated into all development instead of the traditional NJ laissez-faire-style development.

Hurricane Sandy Damage Amplified By Breakneck Development Of Coast: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/11/12/hurricane-sandy-damage_n_2114525.html?utm_hp_ref=tw

Nov. 26 2012 12:52 PM

The insurance companies can and should encourage flood-resistant building methods, without any need for government regulations. The insurance companies can discount rates for flood-resistant building methods. They can charge higher rates for high-risk construction.
Some uses may have sufficiently high use value, that their periodic total destruction is worth the price (Eg. A cheaply-built summer hot-dog selling shack on a beachfront, that earns it's construction cost every 2 years). Such risky construction is moral, as long as non-beneficiaries of the value (taxpayers) are not compelled to pay the cost, for those who enjoy the benefits of the risk.

Nov. 26 2012 11:46 AM
David from Fredericksburg, VA

@ BK from Hoboken

I object to paying for wealthy people, who feel they shouldn't pay their fair share of taxes, being subsidized by the little people.

They built a house or bought a rental property on the water - and got wiped out by a totally predictable storm. Sounds like they made a bad investment to me. Under capitalism, which we allegedly have in this country, when you make a good investment you do well, when you make a bad investment you lose.

The real system we have is heads the rich win, tails we pay for their losses.

Nov. 26 2012 11:35 AM
BK from Hoboken

Yes homes need to be rebuilt better. Towns need to engineer their beaches and dunes (and don't build right on top of dunes). But as for not feeling sympathy for vacation home owners- keep in mind the citizens of NJ send more money to DC as receive less back than any state in the nation. I don't feel bad asking the Feds for help rebuilding the shore, which I love to visit, or my
hometown of Hoboken.

Nov. 26 2012 11:27 AM
David from Fredericksburg, VA

@ hicoachrich

Same as an column years ago about state money for dams on private lakes in northern NJ. The columnist was with a state official looking at some of the dams, a home owner accosted the two of them with when are they going to fix the dam?

The columnist asked her if the public should be able to use the lake - NO WAY. Again public money spent for private gain.

The whole thing makes me sick. And it will not change, whichever party "wins" the real winners are those with enough money to buy the laws they want. We have the best government money can buy.

Nov. 26 2012 11:27 AM
brooklynmom78 from Park Slope, Brooklyn

There should be at least some state regulations for building codes, because the fact of the matter is, that builders will usually prefer to build as inexpensively as possible and let the liability be somebody else's problem.

Nov. 26 2012 11:27 AM

municipal consolidation

Nov. 26 2012 11:25 AM
Tom from UWS

Insurance companies CAN play a major role locally, statewide and elsewhere. If they don't insure, new codes will be employed until insurers see the risk as acceptable.

Nov. 26 2012 11:25 AM
Dorothy from Manhattan

Christie was groveling? Groveling? Really?

Somebody better take away that woman's Thesaurus.

Nov. 26 2012 11:24 AM
David from Fredericksburg, VA

RE: Public money to rebuild private property in NJ.

Republicans/teapartyers resentment only extends to OTHER people benefitting from public money. When THEIR property is at stake, of course the government should pay for fixing it.

No different than the financial dirtbags insisting they shouldn't pay taxes like the little people, but they sure should be bailed out when they drive the economy into a ditch (and of course all the other victims should suck eggs).

Nov. 26 2012 11:21 AM
brooklynmom78 from Park Slope, Brooklyn

I think that, unless coastal cities want to drastically change their building codes (buidling their structures on stilts with the understanding that the coastlines are changing) that they should selectively cede land to the sea. In California, whre I am from, there are building codes for earthquakes and retrofitting requirements. The same precautions should be taken on the east coast with the understanding that the frequency of hurricanes is increasing.

Nov. 26 2012 11:19 AM
hicoachrich from Murray Hill

to answer the big question you asked---what i have been told is that each town had to give permission to the Army Corp of engineers---and then AGREE to open access beaches after the work was done---many (wealthier) towns said 'NO WAY"

Nov. 26 2012 11:18 AM
Joan from Brooklyn

I can tell you exactly what Christie's talking points will be: NJ rebuilding good - Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security bad.

Nov. 26 2012 11:18 AM

its all over developed. how back taking a step back. how about stopping the rush to rebuild

Nov. 26 2012 11:17 AM
jmurphy

It might not be popular, but when is someone going to acknowledge that buildings should not be built so close to coastlines? We build there out of convenience and arrogance that we can engineer around mother nature.

It would be must cheaper to keep buildings farther away and then provide shuttle buses for all to enjoy a natural coastline.

Nov. 26 2012 11:17 AM
simpsonsmovieblew

(OK, you are focusing on that direction, ladies -- keep fighting the good fight against bloated, soulless hypocrisy!)

Nov. 26 2012 11:13 AM
simpsonsmovieblew

I thought Christie was a Republican? Why on earth would he grovel to Obama to pay for private (beachfront) and quasi-private (utilities) property?

Isn't this something "the private market can step in and do best" -- as with health insurance?

Nov. 26 2012 11:09 AM

On week 4, the NJ Star Ledger comes out with its official editorial stance on NJTransit's decision to keep its backup generators, engines, etc. in a designated Wetlands area: "it's a "doozy".

http://blog.nj.com/njv_editorial_page/2012/11/after_leaving_trains_in_floode.html#incart_river_default

Has Nancy Solomon taken a look at the NJTransit organizational chart?
http://www.state.nj.us/transportation/about/pdf/orgchart.pdf
Interesting cast of characters -- and unfilled positions among auditors etc.

Nov. 26 2012 10:20 AM
Ian from Northern New Jersey

@Joe from nearby:

I can see where you are coming from with the 'no support for the picky vacation home types'. I do, however, think you are missing the point by assuming that it was only those who 'visit' who asked for less than ideal 'beach manufacturing/maintenance'. Working with the beach and manufacturing the coast line to suit safety/preparedness/aesthetics/financial realities is incredibly expensive and sometimes the 'best case' for one or a few of these considerations is far beyond what the residents can or want to provide.

In short: Moving sand around is incredibly expensive. It's not the whims of the rich visitors and their desire for a nice view that allowed for lots of devastation and it would do us all well to remember that hindsight is only a compass for future action.

Nov. 26 2012 09:58 AM
Joe from nearby

Like anyone, my heart goes out to all those whose homes were damaged, and I'm heartened by the outpouring of support.
However, my heart goes out much more to those who's homes are primary residences. And I basically have no sympathy for those who own beachfront vacation homes & fought to keep out any dune building so they would have a better view of the ocean. For them a bailout will not sit well with taxpayers.

Nov. 26 2012 08:48 AM

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