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Toms River Engineer Sees Flaws in Flood Map

Portions of the proposed FEMA flood map are advising elevations three feet above Sandy's high water mark.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency's proposed flood maps, which will significantly affect rebuilding after Hurricane Sandy, "appear to be overly conservative,"  Toms River Township Engineer Robert J. Chankalian said in a letter to the agency.

Chankalian said that Hurricane Sandy was an "anomaly" and the base flood elevations, which are the standards used to build or significantly renovate homes, should be set lower than the October storm's high-water mark. These maps also have a bearing on flood insurance rates as well.

However, the advisory base flood elevations (ABFE) are three feet higher than Hurricane Sandy's high water mark in some areas, Chankalian said in the letter, which was posted on Toms River Township's Website.

The proposed map expands "V Zones" where homes are more likely to be damaged by waves, while some portions of Ortley Beach that were damaged by waves during Hurricane Sandy were placed in a lower risk region ("A zone"), Chankalian said.

"It is hard to explain why inland lagoon areas are in high elevation and wave “V” zones, and the barrier island is set at a lesser “AE” standard. Further, people are already questioning, if my house made it through Sandy, why is the new ABFE more stringent?" Chankalian wrote. "I think it goes without saying that we need to be as accurate as possible since the financial impact to the residents in terms of flood insurance costs, resale value and reconstruction/construction costs are significant."

Chankalian requested a meeting with FEMA officials to revise some of the data before the final maps are approved.

Mr. ? December 22, 2012 at 12:35 AM
The waves were churning, insurance rates will be churning, TR is churning and attorney fees and taxes will be churning...and here comes the real flood and storm. Chankalian against FEMA and the Feds...Hmmm. Will they listen to him as TR Twsp listens to us?....Hmmm
~Barb~ December 22, 2012 at 03:53 AM
They need to look at the tributaries that empty into the Toms River. With storm surge they will certainly rise. They did during Irene & Sandy.
Mark December 22, 2012 at 05:35 AM
I guess the Toms River Engineer failed to see the flaws in Toms River dune system for the last 15 yrs? http://jerseyshore.metromix.com/leisure/article/lavallette-beach-guide/495280/content
Robert Bressman December 22, 2012 at 11:28 AM
Yesterday people were told not to go to the barrier islands because there was flooding, we didn't even have a hurricane, just a little wind and rain, streets were flooded, docks were under water, Sandy has changed things a lot, maybe the town should rethink solutions instead of trying to changing the flood maps
mjmjr December 22, 2012 at 04:29 PM
I DONT THINK THAT TOMS RIVER TOWNSHIP KNEW THAT THEY ARE A WATERFRONT COMMUNITY.
Joseph Herbert December 22, 2012 at 06:33 PM
Really a problem, I know we don't have Al Gore styled "Global Warming", what we have is worse, it is geophysical global warming. The earth is only 60 or 70 thousand year from its geophysical warmest, which occurs every 1.6 to 2.3 million years. When you add in the Gore Effect, about a .005% difference, you get even more change. Over the next fifty years we'll see the mean high water mark 5 -7 feet higher than now, in 2100 it could be near 14 feet higher. Now that's not a problem for most of us, but if you're leaving a legacy, make sure it floats! Way beyond our concern 2500-Y3K you'll be looking at clear water in the Arctic Winters and a new continent where the Antarctic used to be. Greenland and all of the Canadian "Arctic Tundra" will be farming land.
Sandra December 22, 2012 at 10:50 PM
This is very sad for all people who have to either raise their homes or face gigantic flood insurance rates. As was said above, the recent rain has water flooding up to Fisher Blvd Toms River. Options are near non for those who had water flood under their crawl spaces as they rebuild. This is sad, good luck to all affected.
fed up December 22, 2012 at 11:16 PM
They need to look into the storm drains in T.R. It sounds like they are clogged with debris and the like from sandy. If the drains are clogged or blocked in some way it can cause a serious problem. Or maybe Sandys wrath has reconfigured the bay and all the lagoons through erosion. Thursdays storm was nothing compared to the normal jersey coastal storms that we have.
Cosma December 23, 2012 at 03:56 PM
I know for a fact that the storm drains are all clogged from Sandy. Of course your going to see flooding. The moorons in charge should of made clearing out the storm drains one of there first priorities. But no... that's too normal. Please give me a break.
Cosma December 23, 2012 at 03:58 PM
It must be effecting Chankalian's home.
DJ Rieman January 09, 2013 at 02:21 PM
It's not the elevation requirements necessarily, it's the building requirements in these new v zones which are completely ridiculous - every current home needs to be placed on pilings to comply with new code!!?? If not pay astronomical insurance rates - if this remains we will see a mass exodus of property owners from these areas, which will in effect lower values and raise taxes dramatically - once again our govt - FEMA has over reached, over regulated and does not realize the adverse consequences of its actions.
Donna Jacobus Mccarroll March 20, 2013 at 11:03 PM
how do you know if your in a flood area.. I cant seem to find the maps.. I have a house off of coolidge in Southwinds.its about 4 miles to seaside bridge.. we did not even lose our electric the nite of the storm.. I was wondering if it is going to effect us.. No damage at all..
Ortley Fulltimer March 20, 2013 at 11:15 PM
Oh boy.........Chankalian is out of his coma!!!!!!!!!!

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