Hoboken Public Safety Director Kenneth Ferrante recalled when Hurricane Sandy “paralyzed our city” a decade ago during a short interview with PSE&G.
“We saw in Sandy, back 10 years ago, that in the entire city, 50,000 outages a week after that storm. Paralyzed our city: we’re in six feet of water and our substation on 2nd and Harrison Street was under six feet of water and the power station here was four to five feet underwater,” he said.
“There were estimates that it may take until Thanksgiving to make repairs, fortunately PSE&G did first work and got us back up citywide within a week. By contrast, 10 years later, thanks to all the upgrades to the power station: moving the power station to another part of the city, raising it to nine feet, on today’s one year anniversary of Ida we had no power outages last year, miraculously.”
Ferrante, a former Hoboken police chief and office of emergency management coordinator, was the commander of the south portion of the Mile Square City and in charge of 40 officers during Sandy.
Due to the devastation of Sandy, which cause over $100 in private property damage and another $10 million in public property damage, Hoboken began planning for future storm events through the $230 million Rebuild by Design project that received a $100 million boost from Gov. Phil Murphy’s administration in June.
“Work between the City of Hoboken and PSE&G over the last 10 years, upgrading of power stations, raising them to nine feet – which was a major push by then-Mayor Dawn Zimmer – we continue to work with our current administration and PSE&G that brought us to a point where with flooding we had no power outages last year.”
He noted that along with two new flood pumps acquired by the North Hudson Sewerage Authority, the city was able to be fully operational within 24 hours of Hurricane Ida last year.
This morning, Zimmer tweeted a thank you to Hoboken residents who helped provide public input and make Rebuild by Design possible.
“On this 10th anniversary of Sandy a big thank you to Hoboken residents for actively engaging in a robust public process that will help protect against future severe storm surge w/the Rebuild by Design project!”
Her successor, Mayor Ravi Bhalla, also wrote on Twitter, stating that “Hoboken is stronger and more resilient than ever before,” sharing a New Jersey Monitor story that provides an in-depth look at Rebuild by Design.