Save Our Reservation

One thing almost everyone agrees with is that flooding of the Rahway River is a major problem. The US Army Corps of Engineers will be presenting the results of their economic study of flood mitigation measures on Monday, March 31. One of the alternatives being considered is a dam in the South Mountain Reservation that would contain water along the West Branch of the Rahway River. Save Our Reservation opposes the dam and I spoke with a leader of the group and a former mayor of Maplewood, Fred Profeta, to learn more.

Listen to interview

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Fred Profeta

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2 thoughts on “Save Our Reservation

  1. The interview with former Mayor Profeta has several unfortunate comments which need a response. Much of this is also premature in that the US Army Corps of Engineers has yet to announce whether there is even a project. The development of a detention basin in South Mountain is a regional project not a Cranford project-storage of storm water for a period of a few days-would reduce peak water elevations in Millburn, Maplewood, Union, Springfield and Cranford and to a lesser extent Rahway. After the $100 million of damage caused by Irene and over 2220 homes damaged, significant flood control is needed for public safety. The most significant comment is the Mayor minimizing Cranford’s need for storage from upstream. Without that storage the US Army Corps and DEP will not allow channel work to be done. Combined storage and channel work could yield over 4 feet of lower water elevation. In other words this would be enough so that a future storm would not be a danger to a significant number of residents.
    While it is fully understood there would be impacts from development of upstream storage, and that is not to be taken lightly, modification of the existing plan into the existing landscape has positive as well as negative factors. Hard work to come to terms with this is needed before a next major storm.

    • In my response above I wanted to further stress two items: (1) The Mayors Council Rahway River Watershed Flood Control has been working since late 2011 to find a regional solution to the communities impacted during Irene. Fourteen legislators, two Congressmen, 9 Mayors and governing boards have asked this be evaluated fully so decisions can be made whether to proceed. The upstream storage in South Mountain as evaluated thus far by the US Army Corps indicates significant lower water elevation at the underpass of Route 78. Th estimate is 2.8 feet lower peak storm water elevation. For Millburn, Springfield and Union this translates into significantly less flooding during peak storm events. The South Mountain Regional Detention Basin, which would be dry almost every day of year, would detain storm water for several days during peak and then be let out. Serious consideration needs to be given to the effects. The concerns of Mayor Profeta and those concerned about South Mountain need to be taken into full consideration. (2) March 31 the US Army Corps of Engineers will announce whether the benefit cost analysis under federal law indicates the seven alternatives studied (including numerous alternatives not involving South Mountain) meet the federal test. If the alternatives do not then they do not recommend the project to Congress for funding.
      All those residents who have just said no on the petitions I can only ask your sense of fairness to hear the plans and alternatives before forming any final opinion.

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