West Mahwah Flooding Issues 'Better' During Recent Storms
Residents were updated this week on another potential local project that could help alleviate minor flooding, and on the status of a stalled project that requires support from N.J. and N.Y.
The recent dredging of Winter’s Pond and scoping of the Masonicus Brook have helped alleviate minor flooding, residents reported to township officials in a meeting on flooding in Mahwah Thursday afternoon.
During the rain storms last week, Maria and Ed Streiper’s Brakeshoe Place home didn’t flood. Last year, they experienced five floods and after Hurricane Irene, were displaced from their home until June of this year.
“During this past bought of storms, to look out the window and see nothing happening on our street, it was just the best feeling in the world,” Maria said. “We can sleep better at night.”
According to Mayor Bill Laforet, after meeting with area residents this August, Mahwah asked township engineer Mike Kelly to examine the effects other similar projects might have.
According to Kelly, there are several shoals, or areas where sediment has built up, along the Mahwah River that could be removed.
Clearing out the shoals “would help for nuisance storms,” Kelly said. “It’s not going to help for the 25-year storm or 50-year storm, any storm of real significance. It’s just not a project of that magnitude.”
Still, Laforet said the immediate effects of the shoal removal made the project worth considering.
The shoal removal would require DEP permits and town council approval. According to Kelly’s estimation, the project would cost the township about $215,000.
However, it could be done for around $45,000 if the county’s Mosquito Commission, who scooped the Masonicus Brook earlier this year, was available to do the work.
“The problem with that is scheduling,” Kelly said, while noting that hiring a private contractor would be the “most efficient” way to tackle the project.
Meanwhile, Assemblywoman Holly Schepisi updated residents on the stalled status of a longtime Army Corps of Engineers project that would re-route the Ramapo River. According to Schepisi, the project, which would cost in the tens of millions of dollars, requires coordination between New Jersey and New York. While the Garden State has agreed to some of the project’s plans, “New York is dragging its feet.”
Schepisi recommended township officials to set up a meeting with neighboring municipalities in N.Y. as a way to start urging the state to move on the Army Corps project.
The residents at the meeting said they were happy with what the township is doing.
“This was [my husband’s] family home,” Maria Streiper said. “We want to stay there, we want to raise [our 8-year-old daughter, Amber] in the same house he was raised in.”
“We’ll take any help we can get.”