I have a show called the scannell agenda, channel 99 local access on Cape Cod. I do fisheries and aquaculture R&D, as an amateur. Good drainage is a first to capture and use flood waters. (see the tripe system on www.environmentalfisherman.com Fast pumping of mass quantities of drainage water is a utility we can have using cheaper compressed air pumping systems, short run to temp reservoirs within fifty miles.
Now the storm surges can be buffeted by good artificial reef systems (one of my specialties) which can be fixed in place, portable and semi portable. System such as these do double duty as fishery (see market quota system) productive bio-mass tonnage producers. Some of my mega system designs in this area would have prevented the flooding of the bight during Sandy. Yes, it is possible. We have days to bring in reef systems of this sort, grandiose? I call spending on insurance and rebuilds sort of crazy in the flood plane.
We do need to bring back eelgrass beds, and kelp beds, and their natural buffering abilities. Less coastal erosion using mother nature is great for fisheries especially. Yet we have homeless and unemployed folks ... oodles of folks ... they need jobs, and these systems are perfect for that.
"action action: we want action." What to do? I don't have this problem. I've been working on these designs for forty years. I'm on youtube with my show "The Scannell Agenda" There is a lot of detail work here. But it's generally true our costs will be very high with no efforts to curb the floods.