Sunday, April 21, 2013
The grassroots organization has its sites set on national attention.
From its humble beginnings - a few concerned residents sitting around a table in a small sub shop in Toms River - Stop FEMA Now, the grassroots organization opposed to the federal agency’s flood maps, has grown and continues to attract crowds at meetings throughout the state. Now it’s time for the second phase. Prior to a meeting in Atlantic City to discuss flood maps with residents of yet another county, Stop FEMA Now founder George Kasimos said the causes continues to grow. More and more residents continue to discover that their homes are now listed in FEMA’s flood zones, he said, and now they’re looking for answers. And ultimately, they’re looking for a way to fight back. The group’s Facebook page has grown from just a few hundred likes…
Tuesday, April 2, 2013
Eric Katz faces accessibility challenges if he must raise his Green Island home
With the help of his father, Eric Katz spent over three years renovating the house that allowed him to live how he wanted. The 30 year-old paraplegic has been in a wheelchair since age 15, but that never stopped him from living an active and independent life. Then Superstorm Sandy struck. His custom home in Toms River's Green Island section was devastated by flooding. "I had never even seen water in the street," said Katz from inside his gutted home, the walls half removed and floors stripped bare. "For [Hurricane] Irene, it didn't even come over the bulkhead." Katz was putting the finishing touches on his lagoon-side ranch just two week before Sandy pushed 35 inches of water into the garage. About 18 inches of water made it inside the …
Friday, March 22, 2013
Governor provides update on rebuilding, with focus on flood maps and Blue Acres buyout, and plenty of anecdotes
Gov. Chris Christie predicted the Federal Emergency Management Agency will scale back tough new flood maps it issued last December, according to news reports. Those maps place many more properties in flood zones, requiring many of them to be elevated if their owners don't want to see flood insurance rates soar, according to reports. The initial FEMA flood maps, which could create thousands more in insurance premiums and have residents raising their houses feet off the ground, are "too aggressive," said Gov. Christie at Thursday's town hall meeting. He was addressing a packed crowd of officials and residents in the Hurricane Sandy damaged town of Manasquan, and Christie returned to the complicated and controversial topic of what would …
Tuesday, March 12, 2013
Toms River Township Engineer writes in a letter to the state DEP that FEMA maps could "incur unnecessary costs or debt" to residents
Tuesday, March 12
The following letter to the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection was sent by Toms River Township Engineer Robert Chankalian. In his correspondence, Chankalian expresses his concerns about the data FEMA used to construct its Advisory Base Flood Elevation maps and asks for revisions. Thank you for this opportunity to express Toms River Township’s position, with respect to the utilization of the FEMA ABFE maps as the 100 year Base Flood Elevation for future construction. As detailed below, Toms River has numerous questions and serious concerns regarding use of this data, and, more importantly, based on indications from FEMA that these elevations may change, the ABFE maps have caused great confusion for our residents as they try …
Wednesday, February 6, 2013
Christie decision to adopt FEMA's advisory flood maps will have a dramatic impact on coastal towns, but he's not backing down.
Gov. Chris Christie is adamant about his decision to adopt the Federal Emergency Management’s (FEMA) advisory flood maps. And while that decision will have a significant, and costly, impact on many of New Jersey’s shore towns, it’s a necessary step to ensure their survival, he said. Speaking at a mobile cabinet meeting in Union Beach nearly two weeks after announcing his decision to rebuild using the advisory flood maps as a guide, Christie said it was a difficult choice, but one he had to make. Even amidst opposition as shore towns and residents voice their objections to the maps and their expanded flood-prone A and V Zones, Christie’s not backing down. Whether towns and residents rebuild smarter and higher, or face the risk and high cost…
Tuesday, February 5, 2013
Plans are being formulated at the state level for how to spend Hurricane Sandy relief aid, but the money hasn't come in yet.
The state is developing plans for how and where to best allocate Hurricane Sandy relief aid, writing proposals for putting together lists for its various relevant agencies, from Housing and Urban Development to the Department of Transportation. The money will come, Gov. Chris Christie told a crowd in Union Beach Tuesday, and it will be used to rebuild New Jersey and get residents back into their hurricane-ravaged homes. Be patient, he said. The check hasn't been written yet. Christie joined other local legislators in celebration after a $50.7 billion hurricane relief bill passed in a contentious U.S. House of Representatives in January before heading off to the U.S. Senate for approval and finally to President Barack Obama’s desk for a …
Wednesday, January 30, 2013
Christie announced the maps would be adopted to help business owners and residents rebuild.
Sen. Jim Whelan has asked Gov. Chris Christie to reconsider adoption of building codes based on preliminary Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) maps in a letter dated Jan. 28, 2013. Christie announced on Jan. 24 the state would adopt FEMA’s Advisory Base Flood Elevation maps in an effort to make it possible for residents and business owners to build along the Jersey Shore. The advisory maps, or ABFE's, were released in December and recommend that residents in flood zones in 10 counties and 194 communities raise their homes on average between 1 and 5 feet. The adoption covers only shore towns, while the rest of the state remains under guidelines established in 1980. FEMA is expected to adopt the advisory maps within the next 18-24 …
Monday, January 28, 2013
Township hosted a FEMA event on Saturday
Monday, January 28
A video featuring a portion of the Federal Emergency Management Agency information session hosted by Toms River this past weekend is available for residents to view online. Officials said each of the three sessions held on Saturday at High School East were booked full. The video was posted to the township's YouTube channel and features comments from Toms River council members and a FEMA representative. FEMA representatives promised that if they were unable to answer questions that day, they would take a phone numbers and respond with the correct information. Council President George Wittmann said that the township plans to host another workshop "in the next few weeks" to help residents as they deal with raising their homes. More Patch …
Monday, January 7, 2013
Township does not believe federal flood maps are accurate
Margaret Quinn's family lost their home when Hurricane Sandy flooded Silverton. "We lost our house. We lost everything," she told the Township Council last week as she pleaded for answers on how to rebuild. The FEMA flood elevations maps released weeks ago are flawed, the township has said, making it difficult for residents who have suffered severe home damage to make plans to rebuild. Following the current map guidelines could wind up costing homeowners money if they rebuild and revisions are made to the finalized maps released in August. "I cry everyday," Quinn said. "There's nothing there and there's nothing we can do about it." Fellow Silverton resident Stacy Buono faces the same issue. "We're all at the point where it's time to …