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Turner Bill Urges Rutgers Participation In Combating Floods

TRENTON – The Senate Environment Committee approved a resolution sponsored by Senator Shirley K. Turner that would request that Rutgers University assist the “Flood Mitigation Task Force” in determining the causes and potential solutions to flooding in New Jersey.

“Floods are one of the few natural disasters that New Jersey has had to face on a regular basis,” said Senator Turner, D-Mercer. “Fortunately, with advanced planning and constant maintenance of our dams and waterways, we can reduce the frequency and severity of floods.”

From Friday April 1, 2005 through Sunday April 5, 2005, a major storm deposited four inches of rain on New Jersey, causing heavy main stream and river flooding, and prompting the Governor to declare a state of emergency. An estimated 3,500 homes, many of which were in Mercer County along the Delaware River, were affected by the flooding, with at least 5,600 people evacuated. The April 2005 flood marked the third major flood in less than a year for New Jersey communities.

In response to these floods, the Governor created a Flood Mitigation Task Force, which is comprised of professional engineers, public and elected officials, academics, planners and others who have firsthand knowledge about flooding issues. This resolution, SR-29, would seek to provide additional support from Rutgers to this group.

“As New Jersey’s premiere public research university, Rutgers serves as the State’s brain trust. Flood prevention is one issue that the State can benefit greatly from the extensive knowledge that academics and researchers at Rutgers possess,” added Senator Turner.

The resolution passed the Committee by a unanimous vote. It now goes to the full Senate for their consideration.