“Lifting a Town to Escape the Next Flood
Peter Applebome. Feb 22, 2013
HIGHLANDS, N.J. — If not for the most deadly natural disaster in American history, in Texas, and an innovative response to it, more than a century ago, one might briskly consign the proposal to save this oft-flooded borough at the northern end of the Jersey Shore to the realm of pigs with wings.
But four months after Hurricane Sandy almost obliterated downtown Highlands, an unlikely idea with one enormous historical antecedent seems to be taking hold here: Don’t just raise the buildings. Raise the town.
After all, officials in the modest, largely working-class community note, something quite similar was done, with the most rudimentary technologies, to save Galveston, Tex., which was raised as much as 17 feet after more than 6,000 people perished in the great hurricane of 1900. Yes, even the proponents here concede, it will be a long shot to persuade the federal government to spend more than $25 million to raise Highlands’s downtown 10 feet as a permanent solution to flooding, storm damage and rising seas.”
Photo: Fred R. Conrad/The New York Times
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