Two years ago, Hurricane Ida caused mass damage and flooding in the City of Lambertville. Since then the riverside city has rebuilt. But the lessons learned from this dark time still carry on.
On Tuesday evening, the City of Lambertville Council hosted a post-Hurricane Ida info session two years after the horrific event.
The event gave councilmembers and officials a chance to hear the opinions and memories of local residents affected by Hurricane Ida and get advice from them on what the city should do differently in future flooding incidents.
The event also gave the city a chance to tell residents what they’ve accomplished since Hurricane Ida.
Most importantly, the event helped both sides understand how they can prepare for the inevitable threat of climate change-induced flooding.
The event also took place during the Philadelphia Phillies playoff game, a 10-0 blowout win against the Arizona Diamondbacks in Game 2 of the National League Championship Series. However, there were many residents in attendance and councilmembers got what they needed out of this info session, which was feedback and collaboration with the city they serve.
During the public comments section of this meeting, several residents stepped up to the podium.
Almost every public comment brought up the need for transparency and preparation so the city is ready. Residents also brought up how Lambertville came together with unity and kindness during the time of suffering.
City resident Cynthia Ruffner said the paperwork handed out at the information session was “fantastic.”
In the aftermath of Hurricane Ida, Ruffner had no food, power or hot water. She mentioned the city should work with local gyms to figure out if those impacted by future storms can use their showers during disasters.
Ruffner also mentioned the disaster tourism she endured and hoped the city could do something about it.
In an emotional moment, Ruffner brought up how important it was to receive help from the community and how it was a beautiful thing to experience.
Another resident, Marla Carbelly, thanked everyone for their actions during Hurricane Ida.
She mentioned two preventative measures during her public comment. One was to clear out stone and debris in Alexauken Creek, and the other was that the city should create a committee of citizens, business owners and councilmembers to work together to continue efforts and be collaborative.
John Hyncheck, a Lambertville resident since 1969, said Hurricane Ida gave the city an opportunity to look back and analyze what can be modified to benefit all. He brought up that Lambertville should team up with a local high school to assist in giving flood victims shelter during a disaster. He also thanked all of Lambertville’s first responders for their help.
Besides the public comments from the meeting, the city will also be culling data collected from 142 surveys filled out by Lambertville residents.
Lambertville officials shared their numerous accomplishments with residents in attendance. Efforts undertaken include revamping Holcombe Park with a grant and approving a stormwater management ordinance among several other key policy victories, per previous reporting by New Hope Free Press.
The councilmembers were accompanied by two local volunteer residents: Judy Gleason and Dave Bird. Both were instrumental in this event.
Lambertville’s flooding problems aren’t foreign to Hunterdon County. Other towns and cities by water are affected by similar problems, including beach towns like Sea Isle City and Stone Harbor.