Hoboken scales back travel ban as officials plan for 3rd ’50-year storm’ in a month with Isaias

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Hoboken officials announced this afternoon that while they still strongly urge residents to avoid travel between 8 a.m. Tuesday and 8 a.m. Wednesday, their travel ban for Hurricane Isaias will only officially be in effect from 5 p.m. tomorrow until 5 a.m. the following day.

While the North Hudson Sewerage Authority’s two flood pumps have a threshold of 150 million gallons of water a day, that was surpassed twice already since July 10th and officials are planning for the same situation tomorrow.

“Unfortunately, tomorrow’s storm could also be in excess of a 50-year storm. However, the two flood pumps will help water recede at a faster rate and if they did not exist, as they did during the previous two storms,” Bhalla said at a press conference at 605 Jackson St.

” … The previous two storms obviously didn’t happen in 50 years, that happened in a number of weeks: that just goes to show how these types of heavy rain events are just becoming more and more frequent with time.”

As a basis of comparison, Tropical Storm Fay on July 10th produce three inches of rain in six hours, with the peak 15-minute interval having a rate of 1.96 inches of rain per hour in Hoboken, the mayor said.

Less than two weeks later, on July 22nd, more flood conditions ensued after one inch of rain fell in eight minutes and ultimately two inches of rain in a two-and-a-half hour time frame.

Hoboken Office of Emergency Management Coordinator Sgt. William Montanez stated that in addition to streets being barricaded, police and fire vehicles have been fueled up, along with setting up collaborations with Jersey City and PSEG.

Additionally, Jennifer Gonzalez, the city’s director of environmental services, noted that Hurricane Sandy was a coastal surge event that had minimal rain fall, while Isaias will likely be the opposite.

“With the rain fall and flooding that we expect, typically occurs when high volumes of water are brought into our combined sewer system … which is really sized for a two-year storm event.”

Last night, the city also announced that street sweeping and outdoor dining would be suspended on Tuesday, as well as exactly which flood prone streets and intersections would be closed.