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The Time has Come for a Major focus on Flood Control – Stop Flushing Money Down the Ho-Ho-Kus Brook

photos by Boyd Loving

by the staff of The Ridgewood Blog

Ridgewood NJ, Frankly, enough is enough when it comes to flooding along the Ho-Ho-Kus Brook in Ridgewood.  Damaging, expensive flooding seems to be occurring every 5 years (or less) instead of every 100 years.

Flood damage from Hurricane Ira to Board of Education buildings and grounds alone will cost almost $250k to repair (flood insurance coverage and FEMA grants may lessen the amount).

The Village of Ridgewood (VOR) has not yet made public the dollar figure associated with repair of damages to Village Hall, the Ridgewood Public Library, Vets Field, Graydon Park/Pool, Maple Field, and the Recycling Center.  Flood waters may have also entered the Ridgewood Water Pollution Control and Signal Department facilities on Prospect Street in Glen Rock.  VOR flood related repair costs could also approach $250k, or more.

The Ridgewood Blog suggests there is no time better than now to begin conceptualizing, designing, engineering, and constructing a flood control system for the entire length of the Ho-Ho-Kus Brook in Ridgewood.

We’ve got to put an end to the heartbreaking & expensive damage, along with massive disruption to business and family routines, caused when water rushing through the Brook overflows its banks.

Now is the time to request help from the Army Corps of Engineers in the fight to keep properties along the Brook free of damaging water incursions.

Let’s stop flushing our property tax monies into the Brook for once and for all!

16 thoughts on “The Time has Come for a Major focus on Flood Control – Stop Flushing Money Down the Ho-Ho-Kus Brook

  1. RIdgewood FD. Always there when you need them the most.

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  2. flood·plain
    noun: flood plain
    an area of low-lying ground adjacent to a river, formed mainly of river sediments and subject to flooding.

  3. Hey Captain OED, use the full phrase: 100 year flood plain. An area of low-lying ground adjacent to a river, formed mainly of river sediments and subject to flooding once every 100 years.

    Why has the 100 year flood plain become a five year flood plain? Because of government doesn’t perform even the most perfunctory of its duties. Underinvestment in shoring up banks, over-development upstream, lack of permeable surfaces leading to the creek. You name it. Therefore, government has the obligation to address the issue.

    Should we invest in flood plain ball fields that cost $100,000 per heavy rain to maintain? No. But should the village, county and state address a problem that is fundamentally in their (and only their) control and arguably of their making? Yes.

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  4. Well Bergen county needs to clean up their books they need to take full responsibility from Hohokus to Glenrock, obviously if you walk it you’ll see that they are properly not doing their maintenance. Definitely needs to be dragged in certain areas.

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  5. This has to be undertaken by the state because whatever is changed along the route will impact all the properties that are upstream. It is a real mess and needs a wholistic approach with real engineers. I hope that municipal and county officials will lobby to try to get Fe. Perfect example of where Federal funds and state personnel could help solve a major problem.

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  6. Where the hell is Ramon Hache in all this? Stop the photo ops and start doing your job.

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  7. I do feel sorry for the people along the Hohokus brook BUT there is more than one water way in the village. Almost everyone lining the Saddle river got flooded heavily. The “rescued family” that they wrote about was at the corner at THE SADDLE RIVER–no where near the Hohokus Brook. In fact, the foundation also went in the flood of 1982. The other fact is NOT ONE INCH OF THE RIVER has been cleaned since 1982. I understand the Brook has the same problem except for a later date for their last cleaning. The “great minds” in Ridgewood apparently cannot conceive of the fact that the more trees and junk in the River or Brook, the more they will overflow. Forget the fancy park, pour no more money into the Schedler house. (BULL DOZERS ARE THERE AGAIN. THE ONLY THING THEY SEEM TO BE DOING–THO THEY JUST STARTED–is making a nice lawn for the unusable house..) Many many people once again had severe flooding in Ridgewood. Apparently since those consistent repairs are the home owners responsibility, it’s not worth Ridgewood spending the money. Much better that the money be spent on the famous unoccupied garage. apparently even the car dealers couldn’t come through to take a whole floor to store the cars they don’t have, and the apartment dwellers aren’t leasing space either. But forget the consistent flooding. The garage (vacancy 222 slots and lots of stuff thrown at diners because that wasn’t considered in the planning. Place temptation there and not putting up a high fence or walls–from which teens can fall–) and Schedler are far more necessary to certain influential individuals than filling potholes or cleaning River and Brook. Items Ridgewood desperately need don’t rate when you are trying to copy previous council People and rise through the Political ranks of the county and state. Gotta impress (and pay?) the “right People” to make your term of office more profitable for you..

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  8. Ramon is no longer on the Village Council

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  9. You don’t control water.

    You do the smart thing and not build anything near it.

  10. Ramon is a Bergen County Commissioner. He is in a position to help. I don’t see it.

  11. The mayor and council need to get involved in contact the county and state regarding the Brooks, The county and state need to get into that Brooke and dredge it. In residence need to be notified that if they have any debris along the brook in their backyards they need to remove it. Instead of throwing it into the brook, we have witnessed landscapers blow all debris in right into the brook.

  12. I have been arguing against idiotic artificial turf fields in flood zones for many years now. The people who insisted on putting them in also don’t care about the long term consequenses of the additional UNENDING repeating expensive cleanup – because it’s someone else’s money. It’s becoming rather obvious also however, that the flooding is happening more often primarily because of global warming. Even a huge number of debris in one stream is not going to fill up Veteran’s field (almost a mile in circumference) with 4 feet of water. Do you know how much water that is???!?!?!! Anyway, for those of you living in a flood plain, You should know what you were getting into when you bought the property. Just make sure your sump pump is in good working order, have additional sump pumps installed and/or French drains, free sump pump in your home have a spare sitting up on a shelf, but water sensors in areas that may get wet (and connect them such that you can see them on your phone when you’re not even home), and test the equipment on a regular basis. then you shouldn’t have a problem…

    For areas that get so much water it’s impossible even for any pump to handle, nothing should have been built there to begin with, in towns all up and down the East Coast in flooding areas are tearing those buildings down and turning those areas in a parks. You can’t beat mother nature, You have to just get out of the way!

  13. I have been arguing against idiotic artificial turf fields in flood zones for many years now. The people who insisted on putting them in also don’t care about the long term consequenses of the additional UNENDING repeating expensive cleanup – because it’s someone else’s money. It’s becoming rather obvious also however, that the flooding is happening more often primarily because of global warming. Even a huge number of debris in one stream is not going to fill up Veteran’s field (almost a mile in circumference) with 4 feet of water. Do you know how much water that is???!?!?!! Anyway, for those of you living in a flood plain, you should know what you were getting into when you bought the property. Just make sure your sump pump is in good working order, have additional sump pumps installed and/or french drains put in place, keep spare sump pumps in your home sitting up on a shelf that you can swap into place at a moments notice, get a robust generator and test it often, and if not a whole house generator, then buy a bunch of hugely long contractor quality extension cords. Put water sensors in areas that may get wet (and connect them such that you can see them on your phone when you’re not even home), and test the equipment on a regular basis. then you shouldn’t have a problem…

    For areas that get so much water it’s impossible even for any pump to handle, nothing should have been built there to begin with, in towns all up and down the East Coast in flooding areas are tearing those buildings down and turning those areas in a parks. You can’t beat mother nature, You have to just get out of the way!

  14. The last time there was a major cleanup of the fields, the contractor just fired up the power brushes and lifted a toxic cloud of sewerage-contaminated dust into the air to blow all over the local neighborhood. It took a lot of screaming and yelling at the school administration to get them to stop this and do the job in an environmentally friendly way. I hope we’ve learned our lesson and such dust control measures will be in place throughout the coming cleanup

  15. This is a pivotal moment for Ridgewood. Our playing fields will be in jeopardy for years to come. Is it time to put together a privately funded open space fund? This is not unheard of. The acquisition of Citizens Field was funded by private citizens. Where is the next large chunk of open space? If Valley’s property potentially goes up for sale, could Ridgewood residents join together and fund the purchase of this large plot of land? Maybe this is the perfect long term solution. Our town has a serious deficit of open space. With increased flooding and no real solution in sight, it may be time to look elsewhere for playing fields and rec space. I can see it now… Ridgewood marching band travels down Van Dien playing their hearts out on game day, psyching up the neighborhood on their way to Ridgewood’s “insert biggest donor name” stadium field. Disclaimer – This is a half kidding, half not kidding post. Just throwing in my two cents (my donation to private Open Space fund would be larger – lol)

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  16. Yes the artificial fields look nice but way too expensive. If you go back to Best 10 Years how many millions and millions of dollars the taxpayers spent on these fake fields. It’s ridiculous,

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