After feeling impact of Ida, Hoboken Council-at-Large hopeful Brennan presents flood relief plan


After feeling the impact of Hurricane Ida, Hoboken Council-at-Large candidate Sheila Brennan is presenting a flood relief plan that includes strengthening local partnerships and providing more education on the issue.

Photo courtesy of the Independently Together campaign.

By John Heinis/Hudson County View

“Like many in Hoboken, my neighbors and I suffered damage and lost our personal belongings after three feet of water flooded our basements from Hurricane Ida,” Brennan, a member of the Independently Together team, said in a statement.

“In the weeks since the storm, I’ve spoken with countless residents who all agree that we can no longer accept excuses and inaction from the city on the everyday flooding we experience. While long-term investments in resiliency and storm water management, like Rebuild by Design, are necessary and I fully support, they fall woefully short of addressing the pressing needs of Hoboken residents today.”

A key part of her plan includes working with the North Hudson Sewerage Authority, which serves Hoboken, Union City, Weehawken, and West New York.

Her plan says the administration and city council need to work with and urge the NHSA to
staff a dedicated, experienced professional to provide advice to Hoboken residents on what they can do to mitigate against flood risk, regularly update their website and add a FAQ

Brennan also suggested that they could survey after rain events to collect feedback on flooding to better identify and address localized flooding issues.

Furthermore, she suggest that city and NHSA officials host annual educational seminars and taking a closer look at the city’s water pipe capacity.

“The city needs to engage an engineer to perform an independent review of our underground system and bring a fresh perspective to identify pinch points that contribute to localized flooding that may be caused by factors such as smaller pipes, blockages, and increased volume from expanded population, and then guide our community on near term steps we can take that are within our control,” Brennan’s plan asserts.

She continues that the NHSA has estimated that the have 40 percent excess capacity, which could potentially be improved by cleaning pipes and catch basins more frequently, fixing or replacing compromised pipes.

While the projected $3 billion cost to separate the city’s sewer and water rain system, Brennan states that the city needs a plan B to upgrade the existing once since Hoboken residents “need help today and they deserve better.”

The non-partisan Hoboken municipal elections, where 10 council-at-large candidates are seeking three seats, are on November 2nd.

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  1. This “flood plan” is as unserious as Ms. Brennan’s candidacy. Patty Waiters is going to get more votes than anyone on the Tiff Ticket. Based on what I’ve seen so far, she deserves to.

  2. Maybe we need the 4 pumps that NHSA recommended in 2000? Now we have 2 pumps. Don’t waste the millions or worse, lose that money for lack of good planning. And what about the Long Slip? I hear nothing about that being filled in. Yes, I know it is in Jersey City. Sandy was in 2012. What has actually been done since except dozens of weed gardens and lost parking spaces?

    • Ms. Brennan should ask those questions at the debate. That will provide Mayor Bhalla’s candidates with an excellent opportunity to educate the public about all that had been done already and all that is in the process of being done.

      Yes -:she, like you, will look stupid and uninformed. But like you she’ll get to feel the gratification of throwing a punch even if the punch actually backfires.

    • and the photo of a wet bicycle is offensive to residents who suffered real damages: residents who lost hot water tanks and furnaces, who went without hot water for weeks, who couldn’t get a plumber in because they were overwhelmed with service calls, who financed exorbitantly expensive replacements without FEMA grants or SBA loans. Very sad about Ms. Brennan’s wet bicycle.

  3. 2 years in town and she’s an expert on all things… has she ever expressed any of this to the sewer authority or at rebuild by design meetings?
    It’s all very nice that someone with such limited time here wants to get involved, but it seems length of residency is not all that’s limited about her. Do we really need another negative Hoboken councilmember?

    She has no clue

    • As I see it most of the negativity comes out of the mayor’s office and administration. It is sad that his council team goes along with all of the lying and nastiness that emanates from this administration. It’s the main reason that I can’t vote for that team.

      • That’s why a majority Hoboken residents like his administration, and none of his detractors had the stones to challenge him. The best they could do was run an “independent” and “together” slate of candidates with Fisher running the whole show from behind the curtain.

  4. Where does this lunatic get these numbers or expertise?
    Seems the only inaction is Ms Brennan’s… 3 Billion? 40% capacity… use water revenue? Is she just making this stuff up or did someone sell her bad weed at Woodstock?

  5. Speaking from the perspective of a 2012 and 2021 Hoboken flood ‘victim’ with total losses in the six-figures, this is an issue of great concern to me and my neighbors. It is critical that the new council is up and running on what has been, and currently proposed to address impacts of climate change on our City’s residents. Respectfully, Brennan does not appear to be there yet. She does not appear to be knowledgeable on the body of Hoboken flooding data collected under the previous and current administrations, the ongoing/proposed substantial flood mitigation projects, flood mitigation plans informed by third party research that already exist, moreover the 2 NHSA flood pumps that await funding.

    In 2008, Mayor Zimmer first urged the NHSA to implement EmNet, a storm water monitoring system with sensors installed throughout Hoboken- unfortunately storm named Sandy destroyed the sensors, but site-specific flooding data was collected. 2011, the NHSA completed storm pump H-1 (downtown), and H-5 (ShopRite area)- funding for the other 2 Hoboken stormwater pumps appears to be languishing. In 2016, Rutgers University produced a detailed stormwater impact study called “City of Hoboken, New Jersey Proposed Stormwater Management Plan Health Impact Assessment HIA” funded by grants from charitable trusts.
    The City’s stormwater management plans track the independent research findings in the Rutgers study in conjunction with RBD. Information about the 3 stormwater detention sites: the Northwest Resiliency Park, Southwest Resiliency Park Expansion (Block 10), and the NJ Transit Park along the light rail– proposed and under construction–which will manage more than 5 million gallons of storm water is right on the City’s website.
    IMO, Candidate Brennan should be advocating for the construction of the 2 additional flood pumps. I do support her idea for public education on personal flood mitigation. Education is never a bad thing. However, IMO education should be a council initiative at the Ward level, because each ward differs in the impacts of flooding, and types of buildings affected. For example, 2nd Ward versus the 4th Ward- where you are on the FEMA flood map. Property types: Rowhouses vs apt buildings vs federally funded housing, overlayed with existing Hoboken zoning: commercial, residential, historic. It’s complex. And the backdrop is the reality of unpredictable climate change, with more frequent, wetter storms.

    • Thank you for this excellent, informed and informative summary of the very real progress that the City has made in addressing flooding over the last decade.

      Its understandable that someone like Ms
      Brennan who hasn’t been involved in the efforts is under informed. Hopefully Ms. Brennan and the other Council hopefuls will make the effort to actually learn about the issue and provide more educated perspectives going forward.

      What is more disturbing is that Ms. Brennan has almost certainly developed her flood plan in collaboration with Councilwoman Fisher and Giattino. It shouldn’t be the job of an anonymous commenter like the one above to educate Ms. Brennan. Her political patrons ought to be doing that.

      • I rarely agree with LindaLou, but you are spot on. Ms Brennan who was probably the last person on anyone’s list for council couldn’t possibly be taken seriously, she may be a nice person but this plan is most likely written by Councilwoman Fisher who for some sad reason NEVER places our city in a positive, never a productive idea, a instant agreeable or just being supportive of the city….She’s Beth Mason without the litigation

  6. It’s really sad that some council members are using this candidate to cause mayhem and spread misinformation to stir the pot since they couldn’t find anyone with a track record of service in this city.
    One would think Thelma and Louise could find better people to run… maybe they prefer it this way?
    Afterall better to run this naive person who just finished unpacking than someone who might be smarter than their sponsor and letter writer.

    Is it true that they are all realtors? WTF?