RAHWAY, NJ - When Hurricane Floyd brought flooding that exceeded the 100-year flood elevation in September 1999, Rahway residents were already living on higher and safer ground.
The Union and Allen Street areas, which had been ravaged by floods in the past, were flooded again, only this time there were several empty lots where houses had previously stood.
The City of Rahway, using funds from FEMA Flood Mitigation Assistance and New Jersey Green Acres, put together an acquisition program in 1995. The former homeowners who resided in the Union and Allen Street area decided to sell their homes and move elsewhere in the City.
City officials also put conditions on their approval of the Union County Utilities Authority Resources Recovery Facility, which was located on a former landfill. The utility was constructed to repair the environmental damage done by years of dumping along the bank of the Rahway River. The authority agreed to a wetland restoration project that can rise and fall with the level of the river.
Today, a visitor could watch a great blue heron take flight at the public park and nature trail along the river. Phragmites, spartina and other native waterside plants are being used to protect and stablilize the riverbank. A floating boardwalk, a cormorant and a belted kingfisher also occupy the area.
States are encouraged to prioritize FMA project grant applications that include repetitive loss properties. The continuing priority of the FMA program is to encourage States and communities to address repetitive loss properties. These include structures with four or more losses within a 10-year period, and structures with two or more losses where cumulative payments have exceeded the property value. State and communities are also encouraged to develop plans that address the mitigation of repetitive loss properties.