Flood-Prone Manville Left in the Lurch, Says NJ Lawmaker [AUDIO]
After being devastated by Superstorm Sandy, the Jersey shore towns of Brick and Mantoloking have gotten approval for $40 million in funding to building a steel wall to prevent future flooding.
The federal government will kick in 80-percent and the state will pick up the other 20-percent. A trio of Garden State legislators wants to know why flood-prone and flood-ravaged Manville can't get some help too.
"These are folks that have been flooded out of their homes four times in the past 12 years not including Sandy," says Assemblyman Jack Ciattarelli. "They've never received any type of federal or state support…..What are we to tell the people of Manville?"
While applauding the decision to help Brick and Mantaloking, Sen. Kip Bateman and Assembly members Ciattarelli and Donna Simon hope flood-prone Manville and its municipal neighbors along the Raritan-Millstone River Basin will benefit from similar federal Sandy relief funding.
"No doubt Mantoloking and Brick took direct hits from Sandy, and the proposed seawall is a sound solution that will provide needed protection (and) 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," says Bateman. "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."
Since 2007, Manville residents have been ravaged by three major floods. Officials there have been waiting for more than five years for the remaining $3 million balance to complete a $7 million U.S. Army Corps of Engineer flood control study.
"Manville residents have waited long enough for a resolution to the chronic flooding that plagues this area," says Simon. "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."
Legislation has been introduced by Bateman, Ciattarelli and Simon to create the Hunterdon-Somerset Flood Advisory Task Force.
The measure has bipartisan support. It would create a task force made up 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.