Federal and State Flood Buyouts Progress Report

PATERSON, NJ - AUGUST 30:  Rescue workers sear...Image by Getty Images via @daylifeLast Spring, the Christie administration released a 15 point flood plan for addressing the chronic flooding issues in northern New Jersey.  Now, in the wake of the biggest flooding disaster we've seen in 25+ years, many are asking exactly how long these 15 points are going to take.

Over the next days, using my own research as well as data from the Passaic River Basin Flood Advisory Commission, I will attempt to cover each of the 15 points and the progress that's been made with each.

Today, Point #1: Federal and State Floodway and Floodplain Property Acquisitions

  • February 18, 2011
    NJOEM and the DEP Green Acres Program held a meeting with FEMA to start coordinating buyout activities so that State Blue Acres funding can be used to match FEMA funds, thereby maximizing the buying potential of State funds. 
  • March 11, 2011
    NJOEM and Green Acres are leading this effort and met with FEMA on February 18. 
  • May 2, 2011
    DEP, NJOEM, and FEMA met with elected officials to discuss buyouts and elevations. NJOEM is the lead agency. 
  • July 1, 2011
    FEMA approves $48.3 million in Hazard Mitigation Grant Program funds for state, county and local flood protection projects.

July 1 - October 5 > No updates available.

Meanwhile, locally FEMA agreed to buyout 29 flood stricken homes (from a previous round of buyouts pre-Irene).  The final approval came September 17th the day of the Ho-Down after a tour of the targeted homes with Frank Spizzirri from the Open Space Commission.  It would not be a stretch to say that most of the homes on Pequannock Ave will be bought out in the next 2 years.  Meanwhile, only 1 home on Harrison Rd is not scheduled for a buyout at this time (in Pequannock at least).

Christopher Lotito is a member of the Pequannock EnvironmentalHistoric District, and Flood Control Advisory Commissions as well as the author of  "Torrent," a book about flooding in the region.  Lotito's personal mission is to reduce new taxes, drastically reduce flooding, and preserve more green spaces for our children.  Christopher Lotito Profile

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