by Scott Gurian, NJSpotlight.com
Most of the attention of the Sandy recovery efforts in New Jersey has been focused on hard-hit areas of the shore, but as state lawmakers heard last night, some northern parts of the state are also still suffering, and face unique challenges in preparing for future severe storms.
Speaking in the Jersey City Council Chambers before a joint legislative committee hearing of the Senate Environment and Energy Committee and the Assembly Environment and Solid Waste Committee, Jersey City Office of Emergency Management and Homeland Security Director Greg Kierce listed some of the impacts on the state’s second-largest city: 6,100 residential housing units damaged and mostly not covered by basic insurance, 15 high-rise office buildings flooded on the waterfront, and over $22 million in damage to city properties.
Sandy has highlighted the need for better evacuation procedures, better communication -- especially with non-English speakers -- and more communication between agencies to coordinate relief efforts, he said, but in the end, there are some things that simply can’t be changed. “I still haven’t found out how you can elevate a brownstone,” he said, referring to the building elevation requirements on FEMA’s new flood maps.