Local state representatives will be pushing for funding for flood relief and protections for residents along the Raritan-Millstone River Basin, the offices of State Sen. Christopher "Kip" Bateman and Assembly members Jack Ciattarelli and Donna Simon announced Tuesday.
Noting Mantoloking and Brick Township received federal and state approval for construction of a steel wall to prevent future flooding in the two Shore towns devastated by Super Storm Sandy, the representatives said they "hope flood-prone Manville and its municipal neighbors along the Raritan-Millstone River Basin will benefit from similar federal Sandy relief funding."
“The Mantoloking-Brick seawall is a flood mitigation project designed to protect Shore residents against future catastrophic storms,” Ciattarelli, R-16, said. “Residents of Manville and the entire Raritan-Millstone Rivers basin deserve no less—they need relief and real solutions.”
“No doubt Mantoloking and Brick took direct hits from Sandy, and the proposed seawall is a sound solution that will provide needed protection," Bateman said. "Although Manville was spared flooding from Sandy, homeowners there have been forced to abandon their homes four times in the past 12 years, due to severe flooding events.
“It’s time for the government to step to the plate and provide the funding that was promised so that we can move forward towards a long-term solution,” he added.
The representatives noted the $7 million U.S. Army Corps of Engineer flood control study has been stalled because of a lack of funding commitment for the remaining $3 million cost. Bateman, Ciattarelli and Simon said they would use the shore towns' funding as a catalyst to push legislation creating the Hunterdon-Somerset Flood Advisory Task Force.
“Because completion of the Manville Army Corp of Engineers flood control study is long overdue, we continue our fervent advocacy to secure federal and state funding and solve the region’s flooding problems,” Ciattarelli said
“Manville residents have waited long enough for a resolution to the chronic flooding that plagues this area,” said Simon, R-16, said. “We will continue the fight and be relentless in our efforts to obtain the funds we are due to mitigate this problem so that residents in the Lost Valley and other flood-prone communities no longer live in fear of the next storm.”
The Hunterdon-Somerset Flood Advisory Task Force bill—State Senate Bill 2080 and A-3077 in the Assembly—would create a task force comprised of top state and local officials and experts in engineering, flood mitigation, public planning or environmental protection, including representatives from the state Department of Environmental Protection, local mayors, county emergency management and a member of the Millstone and Raritan Rivers Flood Control Commission.