Drowning in the Raritan:
Working-Class Central New Jersey Towns Left Flooded and Looking for Help (1990-2021)
by Hunter Tagliaboschi
The Raritan River causing flooding has been an ongoing issue in the central part of NJ for decades and notably recently. When there are storms, highways and main roads across the central part of New Jersey flood from the Raritan River. The river has caused other problems besides flooding but flooding has not gotten better and has caused damage to a lot of homes, particularly homes of poorer neighborhoods or towns and in minority areas that are not built up enough to prevent this issue from causing damage. The areas most affected by the flooding are New Brunswick, Perth Amboy and Elizabeth. These areas are below median salary average in the state and have higher poverty rates than surrounding towns. They have continued to be flooded out with little to no help while other middle class to upper class towns are able to better deal with the flooding or are less affected. The locations of these lower to working-class towns are more likely to have flooding but the townships and state hasn’t provided the money needed for them to get a handle on the issue but other towns seem to have more in place to help slow or stop the flooding from being so bad. This has had an impact on people’s work and livelihood. This is something that happens every or almost every major storm and when it is a hurricane the flood damage can take months to years to clean up and rebuild. I am going to look into this issue and how much it affects my county and the surrounding central and northern counties of New Jersey, particularly in working class areas.
Some questions that need to be asked regarding this issue are:
Why are actions taken by these communities wanting to fix the issue getting denied? Where is the money going? These are the questions I am setting out to try to find answers to.
This is a nationwide issue as well, many cities, working class and minority cities in many states have flooding issues that do not get resolved or looked at despite push by the communities because the money is spent in the wrong ways. This will be highlighted in my research.
Man Stands on Top of Flooded Cars in New Brunswick Thursday Afternoon. (Carly Baldwin/Patch).
It was a windy summer day in New Brunswick, New Jersey in September, 2021, the clouds are dark, the city braces for yet another storm. The rain falls, wind blows harder and harder, the sounds of trees shaking are heard by families inside their homes hoping that they will be safe, and bracing for the impact of potentially losing everything due to the floods. For New Brunswick, a place home to many who are in financial stress, these sounds of rain hitting the glass windows and wind roaring are especially scary. It was only a few months ago that hurricane Ida destroyed New Jersey and Central New Jersey feels the devastating effects from the Raritan River. The next day photos are taken of the devastating impacts the storm has left, homes destroyed, lives changed, streets flooded, and cars underwater.
The flooding as shown in the image above from the Raritan River is not a new issue, this problem has persisted for many years. I am from Edison, NJ and still live in Edison and while flooding isn’t a particularly common issue here, I have been through other towns and have seen the devastation from this problem. A professor from Rutgers University, Dr. Ken Mitchell has described the flooding issue from the Raritan River. He talks about how it has gone on for many years and there should be different building strategies to minimize the problem. There have been efforts in the past to lead the fight in mitigating this, but the future is unknown. Much of the towns in central New Jersey have grown used to this and that is not the way that it should be.
If our government continues to let this river flood without proper mitigation and ruin working-class boroughs or cities like Manville, New Brunswick and Perth Amboy, what does that signal to the residents of these towns in Central, NJ? It is up to the politicians to make the necessary changes but communities have been trying to engage in conversations to help this problem get support.
Some questions should be asked as we cannot ignore this problem. This issue is bigger than just a river flooding, the impact left from this is profound. We need to be asking the sort of questions that may bring about change in the future. What has been done in central NJ? What hasn’t been done? Why is this taking so long to resolve? What is holding us back? Why are some towns more effected than others? Lastly, the most significant question of all, what does this say for the towns who have gone through a similar problem, is there hope for these issues to be fixed?
To have a better understanding of this issue first we need to dive into the background and describe this flooding problem and give a history of it. I will outline the environmental injustice that has taken place. I will present the efforts that have been undergone to solve this problem and the lack of competence in government officials. A description of the community fight in solving this issue will be discussed along with how the communities have started come together with local governments to bring about solutions. Lastly, what else can be done and what questions that have been unanswered can be answered for the future. Environmental injustice has been going on too long in central, NJ towns due to the Raritan River and how government has failed the residents and these towns deserve better and hopefully this paper can shed some light on that.
The Experience in Lower Socio-Economic Towns
The experience in working class areas, is one of desperation for help, and is alarming of what can happen if this issue goes unresolved. Working-class towns are less likely to survive the flooding issues without substantial damage to their lives and property. A vulnerability study conducted after hurricane Sandy in New York City, found that resilience decreases with less income, being a minority, and being disabled. This fact is not surprising, but it is surprising that it is something that we are still talking about all these years later. Some places surrounding the Raritan River continue to fight even with the devastating experience because they know that change must happen and know that they cannot give up.
In the small working-class borough of Manville, NJ, this issue has gone on for decades, and the residents have fought to resolve the problem in their town but to no avail. In the article “In the flooded New Jersey Town that Biden Visited, Residents Feel Forgotten”, it is stated that the problem has persisted for such a long time that residents have lost hope in fighting this issue. “When Regina Petrone’s house flooded this time — she has lived in Manville for 30 years — she lost everything in her basement. The federal government has let Manville suffer, she said as the stench of sewage wafted through the pile of debris from her house.” (Macur, 2021). For residents like Regina Petrone, this issue is all to known and it is no way to live with the constant fear of losing everything. Manville has asked for help and backing and still are but the residents there have felt hopeless as nothing has been done.
Now that we have the background of these residents in mind, we will go through the experiences they have felt from this issue, because no two experiences are the same. This is an image taken after hurricane Irene, in Manville.
This image was taken following hurricane Irene in 2011. This image shows the aftermath of the hurricane and the impact it had on Manville, NJ. The Raritan River caused this flooding pictured in this image and it is telling how devastating it is. The river has long caused devastation to surrounding towns and this image is just one example of that. One thing that this image shows is that the people in these working-class towns affected by the Raritan River need help and we need to get to the bottom of this and ask the question, why is this issue not being resolved? The flooding pictured here has a significant impact on working class and middle-class communities in comparison to upper class communities and not enough is being done about it.
This image was produced in 2011 by the news website nj.com. It was produced as an image from a drone documenting of the disaster of hurricane Irene. This image shows the floodwaters that have reached inside of a neighborhood completely underwater and vehicles being under flood water. This image also shows the significance of the flooding as the road is not even visible and some vehicles are not visible. This image puts the perspective for both Manville and central NJ residents just how disastrous the hurricane was.
In this image we can see no grass on lawns, it is only dirty water. This part of the image sticks out more so than other parts of the image. This is telling how severe the issue is, and this is a significant part of the image because it is visually showing that people are trapped and a drowning that is occurring of a neighborhood. This part of the image tells the story of what it is like to be in a flood this severe and how badly these communities need help whenever a flood occurs from the river. The flooding reaching this point especially considering the background of the image is a problem, this area may be somewhat close to the river but the flood has clearly spread far enough and wasn’t contained.
From the image, it is notable that the flooding has reached several blocks in a neighborhood and also in the distance. This is significant because the entire borough may be underwater. We can see how much was lost in Manville from Irene, a borough that did not have a lot as it is shown by the homes.
We can conclude that this image is very important because it shows the impact that flooding from the river can have on towns. This is in Manville, NJ, Manville is a place that has had a long history of this issue occurring and have been sort of forgotten in the fight to mitigate this problem. When looking at this image, a sense of hopelessness is felt. It is necessary and imperative that in these cities/towns, the government steps up to do more to mitigate this problem, because we can see the horrible effects of not enough being done. If a more was done the floods may be cannot reach this point. It is impossible to totally eliminate flooding when there are rivers nearby and hurricanes but clearly the issue has not been mitigated enough and people living in these cities or towns are the most affected by the lack of government assistance.
Some cities have been hit harder than others and have felt more impact from this problem. It is important to talk about class, because the flood risk is higher in working-class towns and also the damage is more significant and has more of a negative impact on the working-class people. When we look at class, some communities with higher class are not being as affected by this problem. They are not being affected because money is being allocated to this fix when the residents speak up and they get government assistance as opposed to working class towns. From the US census, in New Brunswick the median household income is $43,783 and the median individual income is $21,910 (US Census, 2019). The poverty rate in New Brunswick is 34.4%. These statistics tell a story that is dim for the residents of New Brunswick and especially when dealing with this flooding issue. A large percentage, 34.4% (the poverty rate) of the people of New Brunswick may become homeless due to this flooding problem if it is not resolved or if progress is not made. According to the US census, Perth Amboy has a poverty rate of 19.0%, and a median household income of $52,563. Perth Amboy is another town where this issue has largely affected the community and it is one of the towns that is most affected by the Raritan River.
The borough of Manville has experienced this problem for more than 30 years. Manville is a small working-class borough of about 10,000 people. The median household income in Manville is $69,625. This may not be striking as the middle-class income average in New Jersey is only a little bit higher at around $75,000 but given all of the issues Manville has dealt with when it comes to flooding, this statistic shows that it is not easy for them to overcome the hurdles of covering insurances and such. Working-class communities hurt more than other communities in these issues because the damage is more significant financially. We need to do more from an infrastructure standpoint to slow the flooding as much as possible so these communities are not affected disproportionately on this issue.
Government Inaction & Action
It is important to note the lack of government assistance to the places that are most affected by this problem over a number of years. FEMA or the Federal Emergency Management Agency has failed the residents of Manville, and other working-class cities like Perth Amboy and New Brunswick. We will look at Manville, because there is a rich history of efforts being made by residents and residents not getting assistance or the attention to the problem that they deserve. After Ida, as I mentioned before, president Biden visited Manville, this is a win for the residents of Manville as their problem is finally being evaluated properly.
However, a recent article outlines a main issue for working-class towns. This article, titled “The cost of FEMA Flood Insurance Policies is Going Up, But Taxpayers are Still Helping to Foot the Bill”, outlines a key issue in the fight to mitigate flooding. Regardless of political stance, this issue should have been taken care of long ago. I bring this up because it is clear that for a very long time Boroughs like Manville, cities like New Brunswick and Perth Amboy have needed assistance and on top of the devastating effects of the floods, they are paying even more for help that they deserved a lot earlier. In the article, Peter Van Duren, a senior fellow at the Cato Institute states quote “It is hard to rationalize taxpayer support for people who live in flood zones. That is not how the program, which started in 1968 was supposed to work.” (Mueller, 2021). This indicates that Peter Van Duren recognizes that FEMA is failing the people who live in flood zones, and the program is failing in this regard and especially hurts working-class communities and boroughs like Manville that have been left behind.
Finally, there have been joint alliances with municipalities and residents but it did not happen over-night. Resilient New Jersey is an initiative led by New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection or NJDEP to enable residents to talk about the issues they are facing, in particular flooding and municipalities listen and work with them on coming up with a comprehensive solution to these problems. However, the municipalities and residents still have to fight to get state and federal assistance. This is the main reason why the problem is continuing today. Problems like this should be addressed quicker and with more planning so that residents in places like Manville do not feel left behind with little hope of change occurring given they have been in this fight for 30 years.
Change and Community Fight
With all of the issues facing these communities as a result of this problem, they have joined forces to take the fight to local governments in order to resolve this issue and mitigate it as best as possible. Communities recognize that they have been dealing with this issue for so long and they have decided to do something about it, and try to engage with municipalities on practical solutions and strategies. The more pressure communities put on local governments and federal and state government, the closer they are to solving this problem. In the article “Middlesex County joins Resilient NJ Initiative to Reduce Flood Risk,” it is noted that these towns have come together to fight back against the flooding that persists with no sign of slowing down. Resilient NJ is an initiative to mitigate flooding caused by nearby rivers, and to push local governments to do more for prevention efforts and have more in place to lower the risk of flooding. Resilient New Jersey has seen some communities and municipalities come together to come up with strategies and flood mitigation. Meetings have taken place but aid has not always been there for these communities despite the requests and evaluation of the problem. In the article, it is stated that, “The goal of the Resilient NJ joint effort is to identify and implement flood risk reduction strategies for the Raritan River and Bay region, which will improve long-term environmental and economic strength” (Thompson, 2021). This statement signifies that communities want to do more, get involved and understand the impact of not doing so. Resilient New Jersey is a step in the right direction to resolving flooding from the Raritan. I think Resilient New Jersey deserves more attention for the work that they are doing in regards to mitigation and preventative strategies.
There have been efforts to implement strategies for flood mitigation but in some towns and cities it has not gone through. Notably in Manville, there have been decades of the same problem and no signs of it being prevented or reduced. As stated previously Manville is a working-class borough but we see surrounding towns with less flooding issues on a similar risk of flooding. In an article on the Army Corps of Engineers investigating the Raritan River flooding, Warren Cooper states, “After spending seven years and $2 million studying flooding in the Raritan and Millstone River basin, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will report the status of its work at the next meeting of a group of nine Somerset County towns that have joined forces to combat the problem” (Cooper, 2012). This is notable because communities are coming together with government and trying to bring about change to an issue that has gone on for a long time. It is also stated in the article, ““We can’t wait 20 years,” Jurewicz said. “We need to identify something now.” People are saying when, not if the area will flood again.” (Cooper, 2012). For Manville, this change has not solved the problem and as a working-class town more attention needs to be given to the resident’s hardships with the flooding from the river.
Communities have continued to get involved in the recent years and invest in their cities. Rutgers University, located in New Brunswick, has conducted research related to this problem. The students and staff there have taken it upon themselves to try to understand this flooding problem and also understand ways to mitigate it. In a Rutgers news article, it is stated, “We have been sweeping through many severely impacted areas to gather post-event data,” Gong says. “Last week, we covered tornado damage in South Jersey, and now we are currently studying flooding in Manville, among other towns that were impacted. Much of this work will help us to quantify the extent of flooding and improve flood prediction models that can be used to inform policy and improve safety for at-risk communities going forward.” (Stiesi, 2021). This is another example of community action that is needed in many places across the country. This is a good and productive way of being active in one’s own community to try to have ideas that can then bring about change in the future.
Based on what we know about working-class towns and the history of the Raritan River flooding, we can conclude that this problem should have been addressed a long time ago. Residents in cities less well-off all across the U.S should continue to pressure local governments, state and federal governments on environmental issues or the injustice will persist. It is imperative that we keep the pressure on to prevent issues like this in the future or to have strategies in place that should not take 30 years to have completed.
These movements start at the local level, we cannot expect state and federal governments to listen to our needs, but at least if the effort is made, maybe local municipalities will eventually. I hope that this paper has shed some light on the environmental problems that are being faced in central NJ in particular with the Raritan River. A positive from studying this issue is that local residents joined together with municipalities to pressure the state government and federal government to evaluate their areas for funding and assistance. In Manville, we know that the fight is still a long and ongoing fight but the residents there do not give up hope.
Until local, state and federal government can do more and want to do more to help communities in need from flooding, this issue will continue, but we can do more in the future. The lesson out of this is that we must hold government accountable and we must continue to join together as communities to fight for environmental justice and for environmental regulation. No communities should have to live in horrible conditions with a constant fear of having their homes flooded and losing everything.
I want to point out some things that should be done in the future. It is always important to acknowledge the effect taking action or lack of taking action will have on certain communities and residents living in certain areas. It is important for government to consider the financial effects of their decisions on residents as well as keeping in mind the living conditions. I think too often we see a lack of government support. This should change and we should focus on growing community engagement in the issues and talking to officials in meetings about what is really going on and pushing our voices to be heard. Some suggestions I think would be helpful are if the governor visits these areas more often, a financial plan and funding is set aside prioritizing the residents of working-class communities and communities in general that are feeling the effects of this issue more than others. I also think that low-income housing can be moved further away from the river and that the houses built should be built to be able to withstand being in a flood zone better than currently.
Overall, there is a lot that can be done and Resilient New Jersey is a good start, but state government and federal government should also be in tune with the issues and how much they affect these working-class communities. We cannot afford to wait decades for something to be done, attention needs to be given to these communities now, not later. Residents taking a stance is always a good thing because it starts the conversation and we have seen that start to happen despite any action taking longer than it should at least the conversations are happening. We need to continue pushing forward with bringing about change, because in recent years, there have been more signs of hope.
 Image of New Brunswick Flooding after hurricane Ida.
Man Stands on Top of Flooded Cars In New Brunswick Thursday Afternoon. (Carly Baldwin/Patch).
Carly Baldwin. “1,000 Evacuated As Raritan River Floods New Brunswick, Piscataway.”
Patch.com. September 2021.
 From Rutgers.edu Dr. Ken Mitchell writes about the history of the Raritan River flooding
James K. Mitchell “Dr Ken Mitchell Describes History of Raritan Flooding At Annual Conference.”
 From: M. Madajewicz. Who is vulnerable and who is resilient to coastal flooding? Lessons from Hurricane Sandy in New York City. Climatic Change 163, 2029–2053 (2020).
Discussion on vulnerability to flooding and resiliency changing based on income level.
 Discussion on Manville flooding, and residents feeling forgotten about when it comes to getting aid or help.
From Juliette Macur, “In the flooded New Jersey town that Biden Visited, Residents Feel Forgotten”, NYTimes. September 2021.
 Image of Hurricane Irene flooding in Manville, NJ. 2011.
Bill Willchert. “Manville looking for flood buyout dollars from Sandy-related program.”
NJ.com. September 2013.
 Income statistics. US Census Bureau, 2019.
 From: Karin Mueller. “The cost of FEMA Flood Insurance Policies is Going Up, But Taxpayers are Still Helping to Foot the Bill”. NJ.com. 2021.
 Megan Thompson. “Middlesex County Joins Resilient NJ Initiative to Reduce Flood Risk”
Goals of Resilient NJ and Middlesex County, NJ joining the initiative.
 Warren, Cooper. “Army Corps of Engineers to report on Raritan and Millville River Flooding.”
NJN publishing. February 2012.
Army Corps of Engineers studying status of Raritan River.
 From: Ryan Stiesi. Rutgers.edu/news. 2021. Researchers discussing strategies to mitigate flooding in New Brunswick.
Baldwin, Carly. “1,000 Evacuated as Raritan River Floods New Brunswick, Piscataway.” Patch.com. September 2021. 1,000 Evacuated As Raritan River Floods New Brunswick, Piscataway | New Brunswick, NJ Patch
Cooper, Warren. “Army Corps of Engineers to report on Raritan and Millville River Flooding.” NJN publishing. February 2012. Army Corps of Engineers to report on Raritan and Millville River flooding – nj.com
Macur, Juliet. “In the flooded New Jersey town that Biden Visited, Residents Feel Forgotten” NYTimes. September 2021.
Madajewicz, M. “Who is vulnerable and who is resilient to coastal flooding? Lessons from Hurricane Sandy in New York City.” Climatic Change 163, 2029–2053 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10584-020-02896-y
Mueller, Karen. “The cost of FEMA Flood Insurance Policies is Going Up, But Taxpayers are Still Helping to Foot the Bill” NJ Advance Media for NJ.com. September 2021.
Mitchell, James, K. “Dr Ken Mitchell Describes History of Raritan Flooding At Annual Conference.” Raritan.rutgers.edu. 2016. Dr. Ken Mitchell Describes History of Raritan Flooding at Annual Conference | raritan.rutgers.edu
Stiesi, Ryan. “Rutgers Researchers Help New Jersey Recover and Learn From Ida Flooding.” Rutgers.edu/news. 2021. Rutgers Researchers Help New Jersey Recover and Learn From Ida Flooding | Rutgers University
Thompson, Megan. “Middlesex County Joins Resilient NJ Initiative to Reduce Flood Risk.” Newbrunswicktoday.com. June 2021. US Census Bureau. 2019. www.census.gov
Willchert, Bill. “Manville looking for flood buyout dollars from Sandy-related program.” NJ Advanced Media for NJ.com. September 2013.
- Somerset County Mitigation Planning Committee. “Somerset County Multi-Jurisdictional Hazard Mitigation Plan.” Co.somerset.nj.us. October 2018.
Title: “Somerset County Multi-Jurisdictional Hazard Mitigation Plan.”
Author: Somerset County Mitigation Planning Committee
Location: Somerset County document
Year Published: October 2018
This source provides insight on what has been the issue in somerset county specifically and the risk that the flooding poses. This document goes in depth on which areas are most effected by this flooding from the river.
2. Thompson, Megan. “Middlesex County Joins Resilient NJ Initiative to Reduce Flood Risk.” Newbrunswicktoday.com. June 2021.
Title: Middlesex County Joins Resilient NJ Initiative to Reduce Flood Risk
Author: Megan Thompson
Year Published: June 2021
This article outlines the fact that the communities affected by this issue, in this case one that it deeply affects are trying to do something about the issue and reduce it. Whether or not the government will provide help is to be seen but this is a good start that shows communities based on their experiences are trying to get a handle on the issue. New Brunswick is one of the more affected areas due to the river and also in a way where there is environmental injustice because of class.
3. Environmental Analysis and Communications Group, Rutgers University. “Coastal Vulnerability Assessment- Perth Amboy.” NJ.gov. February 2017.
Title: Coastal Vulnerability Assessment- Perth Amboy
Author: Environmental Analysis and Communications Group, Rutgers University
Year Published: February 2017
This source provides insight into the report and assessment of Peth Amboy and the risk of flooding from the Raritan River into the town. This is a good source because it is documented what the flooding is like and the way Perth Amboy floods and how it has affected the community and what needs to be done to prevent this issue from happening further to the same degree that it is during this time.
4. Baldwin, Carly. “1,000 Evacuated As Raritan River Floods New Brunswick, Piscataway.” Patch.com. September 2021.
Title: “1,000 Evacuated as Raritan River Floods New Brunswick, Piscataway”
Image Title: “Men stand on top of flooded cars in New Brunswick Thursday Afternoon”
Author: Carly Baldwin
Year Published: September 2021
This image depicts the devastation that the storm caused in New Brunswick and you can see people standing on cars and damage to vehicles and homes as a result of the storm. This seems to be further in New Brunswick than right next to the river and the height of the flooding is very significant. Also, this image tells the story of the impact the flooding from the river has and how everything can be lost in one day because of a storm and lack of protection from the storm.
5. Cooper, Warren. “Army Corps of Engineers to report on Raritan and Millville River Flooding.” NJN publishing. February 2012.
Title: “Army Corps of Engineers to report on Raritan and Millville River Flooding.”
Author: Warren Cooper
Year Published: February 2012
This source shows the dedication of towns surrounding the river to take action and try to help reduce the flooding issue. The article outlines the issue and what needs to be done to solve it. The article shows the significance of the issue and how much it has devastated many communities across central New Jersey. Overall, this article suggests that the time period in which it was published in 2012, that there was such a problem for so long that it was urgent that something needed to be done to reduce the flooding or the hope that something is finally done.
A few times in this article, it is shown that the issue is also an issue of gaining funding to get help in these towns from the flooding issue. In this article the former chairman of the Raritan and Millstone River Flood Commission council, Frank Jurewicz, says “We can’t wait 20 years, we need to identify something now.” Jurewicz is saying that the issue is urgent and there is no time to wait as on the political side of this issue nothing has been done while towns continue to be hammered by the flooding and devastated with little to no aid or support and the problem persists. Another quote from this article is “When the study was first conceived it was understood to cost $6 million, with the state funding half. So far only $2 million has been allocated. This suggests that it is a money issue but has seemed to be developing slowly when there is an urgent need for this money. Perhaps this is suggesting that the funding is stopping or not as much of a focus as it should be. Lastly, another example of this issue is a statement from Gary Garwacke saying “The focus now is on getting that study complete. The Green Brook Commission was effective on getting the study funded and completed, but it took 30 years.” Again, this issue of time and urgency appears, that the residents of these towns cannot afford to wait when their homes are being damaged and their livelihoods affected with a lack of support. This begs the question of why is it so difficult for the government to take action to help these towns? Why is it not a priority by now given the history of flooding?
- Mizelle Jr., Richard M. Blackwater Blues: The Mississippi Flood of 1927 in the African American Imagination. University of Minnesota Press, 1st Edition. September 2014.
This book details the struggle of minorities specifically African American people in environmental issues and the injustice that they go through. Flooding and other environmental issues can affect people differently; and there are many examples in many places throughout the country of this being the case. In my own research on the Raritan River, I will compare different towns and the environmental impact on different communities of people as it has been shown in history as shown in this book that minority communities are often hit harder by the impact of flooding or any environmental issue.
2. Burton Christopher, G., Maroof, Abu Sayeed., Rufal, Samuel., Tate, Eric. Social Vulnerability to Floods: Review of case studies and implications for measurement, International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction. Volume 14, Part 4. University of Cergy-Pontoise, Department of Geography, France. University of Iowa, Department of Geographical and Sustainability Sciences, USA. Global Earthquake Model, c/o Eucentre,00 Pavia, Italy. 2015.
Class is a major contributor to environmental inequality. This journal details that, depending on social status or class status, some communities are at greater risk than others to not having the problem fixed.
3. Walker, Gordon. Environmental Justice: Concepts, Evidence and Politics. Taylor & Francis Group. 2012.
This book shows that there is a correlation between environmental justice and the way a state, a city/town is run. There have been examples in history of politics getting in the way of decision making even when lives depend on these decisions, they aren’t made considering everybody equally. This book can show insight into that and can explain perhaps why in my own research some towns or communities have not been granted equal support when dealing with the flooding issue in comparison to other towns/cities and the money going elsewhere instead.
4. Lazaras, Gail. Flooding and Injustice are Deeply Linked—Particularly During A Pandemic. AmericanRivers.org. 2020.
Baldwin, Carly. Image Caption: “Ida Related Flooding last Thursday in New Brunswick. A man stands on top of the car.” September 2021. Patch.com
This image was taken following hurricane Ida in September, 2021. This image shows the aftermath of the hurricane and the impact it had on the town of New Brunswick, NJ. The Raritan River caused this flooding pictured in this image and it is telling how devastating it is. New Brunswick is a working-class town and the people here lost everything due to the flooding. The Raritan River has long caused devastation to surrounding towns and this image is just one example of that. One thing that this image shows is that the people in these working-class towns affected by the Raritan River need help and we need to get to the bottom of this and ask the question, why is this issue not being resolved?
This image was produced in September, 2021 by the news website reuters.com. It was produced as an image documenting of the disaster of hurricane Ida by a drone. This image shows the floodwaters that have reached inside of neighborhoods and vehicles being under flood water. This image also shows the significance of the flooding as the road is not even visible and some vehicles are not visible. The audience of this image is for the residents of New Brunswick as well as all New Jersey Residents. This image puts the perspective on how disastrous hurricane Ida was.
This image means a lot to the communities that have been greatly affected by the Raritan River flooding. This issue is ongoing and the significance shown in this photo provides insight into how large of a problem this is. In this image, people are trapped in their homes as they cannot get to their vehicles and their vehicles are effectively destroyed from the flood water. This level of flooding into a neighborhood from the river shows that this problem needs to be addressed. There is a sense of despair from this image.
Another piece form this image that is telling is the vehicles showing how high the water is. This is very significant flooding inside of a neighborhood. This image tells a story of how people are trapped and have lost everything due to the flood. It is necessary and imperative that in these cities/towns, the government steps up to do more to mitigate this problem, because we can see the horrible effects.
In conclusion this image is very important to my site because it shows the impact that flooding from the river can have on towns. This is New Brunswick, NJ. New Brunswick is a working to middle class town. The median income in New Brunswick is around $44,000. The flood damage shown in this image may impact some lives forever. If this problem persists, especially in a city like New Brunswick, people may lose everything that they have and these floods continue to be mismanaged by local and state government.