Press Release from Congressman Pallone: FEMA, flood maps and tears

I recently received a press release from U.S. Rep. Frank Pallone’s office.

He is requesting a meeting with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the N.J. Department of Environmental Protection to discuss the flood maps proposed for the Bayshore area.

The following is the release:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACT:
Andrew Souvall, (202) 225-4671

April 9, 2008

PALLONE ASKS FOR MEETING WITH FEMA, ARMY CORPS AND DEP TO DISCUSS NEW BAYSHORE FLOOD ZONE MAPS

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Rep. Frank Pallone Jr. (D-NJ) sent the following letter late this afternoon to Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Region II Regional Director Steve Kempf voicing concern about the confusion that exists about the Digital Flood Insurance Rate Map for the Bayshore. He asked several questions about how these flood zones were calculated and asked to host a meeting of FEMA, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) to discuss ways to remove the area in question from the new flood zone.

Steve Kempf,
Regional Director

Federal Emergency Management Agency Region II
26 Federal Plaza, Suite 1337
New York, N.Y. 10278-0002

Dear Regional Director:

I am writing out of concern that a great deal of confusion exists over the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s new Digital Flood Insurance Rate Map (DFIRM) proposed for the Bayshore section of my district. A number of questions have been raised as to how the expanded flood zones were calculated and the accuracy of the new maps. What formulas were used to calculate the expanded flood zones? What has changed in terms of the topography of the area to create such a large increase of the flood zone?

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers had not previously stated that the dune system had deteriorated or was in need of repair. Would the requirements for the flood zones change if there were infrastructure upgrades to the area in question?

Residents are also wondering how much the cost of federal flood insurance would increase and how they can be grandfathered into paying lower premiums before the new maps become permanent. Are there any provisions in current law that help property owners pay for flood insurance?

Before finalizing the new flood maps, I would like to host a meeting between FEMA, the United States Army Corps of Engineers, and New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection to discuss ways to remove the area in question from the new flood zone. In order to mitigate any undue financial burden to my constituents, it is imperative that we exhaust all possible ways to remediate the situation.

Thank you for your attention to this matter. I look forward to continuing to work together.

Sincerely,
FRANK PALLONE JR.
Member of Congress

———————————————————————————-

The Asbury Park Press actually released an article online referring to this letter last Wednesday.

While Pallone has the right idea, there is no way FEMA will “remove the area in question from the flood zone.”

At this point, that’s like asking the current Bush administration to remove troops from Iraq: It just isn’t happening, no matter what anyone says.

Bayshore residents are not happy about it, but the process to make the new maps official can only be delayed.

Flood insurance is inevitable. Bring on the rain.

Check out this week’s issue of The Courier to hear Middletown Democrats sound off about the township’s floodplain management.

PHOTO: WHAT A VIEW Interesting bit: The Bayshore is likely to flood only once in a 100-year period. That might even be stretching it. (Melissa L. Gaffney)
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Filed under FEMA, Flood Maps, Floodplain Management, Middletown

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