Flood Mitigation Center Created

Fadi Karaa Fadi Karaa, associate professor of civil and environmental engineering, directs the newly-created Flood Mitigation Engineering Resource (FMER) Center, designed to be “the premier research, engineering and technology resource for the State of New Jersey in the domain of strategic planning and response to flood analysis and mitigation needs.”

“This is an important preventative project for New Jersey,” said co-principal investigator Taha Marhaba, PhD, P.E., chair of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. “Our objective as a NJIT team of inter-disciplinary experts is to help the State of New Jersey to develop the best solutions to protect its citizens from future floods through innovative engineering measures that are doable, beneficial, resilient and sustainable.”

With funding from the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP), the new center will undertake a short-term research project, as well as studies to provide both short-term remediation and long-term solutions to protect many communities from similar future storms and other flood hazards. The FMER Center’s main goals are to provide technical assistance to New Jersey’s Department of Environmental Protection to reduce the risk to vulnerable coastal and inland populations, and to ensure a sustainable and robust landscape in the state that supports public safety and economic development.

“The center will be the nexus between NJDEP, the general public, the US Army Corps of Engineers, the regional academic research community, and the private sector for development and implementation of innovative planning, engineering, technologies and services for flood mitigation related issues,” Karaa said. He said the center will respond to regional, state and local requests to evaluate protection alternatives and develop contingency plans in quiet times, and adjust forecasts and propose mitigation measures during storm events to help support the emergency management community

The center’s first project is a short-term investigation of alternative measures for flood mitigation in the Hackensack/Moonachie/Little Ferry area. The goal is to enhance rather than duplicate any on-going efforts by the US Army Corps of Engineers and other organizations. The 6-month project will assess flood impacts, and evaluate a range of capital improvement, maintenance and operations and regulatory measures, including structural and non-structural engineering alternatives, zoning, code and system design and redundancy measures.  The evaluation will include hydraulic modeling, environmental, risk and socio-economic impacts, including estimated protection and mitigation costs.