Author & Ipswich resident William Sargent who has written several books about coastal erosion, decided to write an article on the Wicked Local regarding Plum Island and how they were going to use 8 ft of back fill to build up where some new Condo’s were going to be constructed.
Then he adds his opinion on Highlands’ idea of raising the town:
But Highlands, N.J., was proposing the most audacious plan of all. They had studied what Texas had done after the 1900 Galveston hurricane and were proposing that the Army Corps of Engineers spend $200 million of taxpayers’ money to elevate every house, flower and piece of grass in a community worth $574 million dollars.
They proposed to do this by moving everyone into shelters while their houses were put on pilings 11 feet above grade. Then the Corps would move in, build retaining walls and dump million of tons of construction waste behind the walls so, eventually, the entire city would be raised 11 feet into the air.
The proposal wasn’t scheduled to be complete until 2015, and construction could take at least three years. Meanwhile Highlands would have to endure at least five more years of potentially damaging storms.
He goes on to suggest that maybe we should just move the town to the high side of RT 36. (I think I sarcastically made the same suggestion a few years back..)
Then says adding dunes to Plum island sounds so much more reasonable when you compare to Highlands idea to “raise the town.”
We’re officially being mocked..
He ends it by stating “This was not the way to plan for Sandy-like storms and sea level rise.” – I wish we could bring him to a council meeting or maybe the flood mitigation steering committee meeting.
Some of his books Sargent authored include:
“Storm Surge,” “Beach Wars,” “The House on Ipswich Marsh” and “The View From Strawberry Hill,” which has chapters on Plum Island, Hurricane Sandy, and Salisbury Beach.