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Toms River Hires Firm to Contest Flood Zones Designations

Wave modeling study to be completed

FEMA's current flood map for Toms River. (Photo: FEMA)
FEMA's current flood map for Toms River. (Photo: FEMA)
Though the number of homes in the 'V' flood zone in Toms River have decreased drastically since the Federal Emergency Management Agency released preliminary maps after Superstorm Sandy struck in Oct. 2012, township officials feel even more should be taken out of the high-risk designated area.

The township council, on Tuesday night, hired a firm to conduct a wave modeling study with the aim of convincing FEMA that additional homes should be removed from the V zone – and that many homes in the lower-risk 'A' zone should have their elevation requirements modified.

Those with homes in the 'V' zone face flood insurance premiums of tens of thousands of dollars if they are not raised and outfitted with piling foundations able to withstand moving water. The 'V' stands for "velocity" zone.

Those whose homes are in 'A' zones also face high flood insurance premiums if their homes are not raised, though some homes now in designated flood zones should not be, officials believe.

"The issue with the A zone is a major issue, because that can affect thousands of homes in town," said township engineer Robert Chankalian. "One foot can cost someone a thousand dollars or more per year."

The $50,000 contract, awarded to Najarian Associates, will fund a wave modeling study that will use specialized software to analyze the affect of storms, taking into account homes, bulkheads and other features in town that would cut down on FEMA's estimations of which areas would likely flood.

Thus far, the township's opposition to FEMA's flood zone designations has paid off. The number of homes included in 'V' zones are down from 5,000 in late 2012 to about 550, and in December, even more homes were removed from the V zone. In December, 13 additional homes were taken out of the V zone because the township contested incorrect modeling that did not follow bulkheads properly, according to township officials.

"We want to take it a little bit farther, and by hiring Najarian and Associates we think we can achieve that," said Council President Maria Maruca.
Rose Garden February 12, 2014 at 08:25 AM
FEMA's Preliminary Work Map Data is riddled with errors and must be fixed. I am glad to see that Toms River has taken the time to correct and implement FEMA's maps so that hardworking families who have played by the rules are not slammed by unaffordable flood insurance rate hikes.
Suzanne Maison February 12, 2014 at 10:39 AM
Does anyone know why they were taking bore samples in Green Island Tues 2/11?
grace February 12, 2014 at 11:50 AM
please help and make up your mind fema we need to know!!!!
Mortimer Snerd February 12, 2014 at 02:08 PM
We're mad and we're not going to take it any more! Voice your frustration, anger, hopelessness, etc. to the state at ==> Residents may also submit their comments in writing at the Brookdale College (Monmouth County) public hearing Thursday, or by email to: sandy.publiccomment@dca.state.nj.us, or by mail to the attention of Gabrielle Gallagher, NJ Department of Community Affairs, 101 South Broad Street, P.O. Box 800, Trenton, NJ 08625. All comments must be received on or before March 5, 2014, at 5:00 p.m. to be considered. Get the facts at StopFemaNow.com and Facebook.com/StopFemaNow. Contact your member of the US House of Representatives and 2 US Senators at their websites. Tell them how this man-made disaster after the Sandy disaster has become worse than Katrina! We've each lost 16 months, tens of thousands of dollars and countless hours of worry.
grace February 12, 2014 at 05:00 PM
exactly @ mortimer sandy has been worse than katrina..thats why i agree with the wonderful men and women from seaside who stayed and risked their lives for the town..quite brave
Shif February 13, 2014 at 08:10 AM
Mortimer and grace. Worst than Katrina! What? Just because your house was not rebuilt in time does not make Sandy worse than Katrina. How many People died in those two storms? You think your house/property was more important than life. You two are messed up!

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