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Brick Takes Action Against FEMA Maps [AUDIO]

Later this month, we mark six months since Superstorm Sandy pounded the Garden State.

Route 35 in Brick after Sandy
Route 35 in Brick after Sandy (David Matthau, Townsquare Media NJ)

In that time, it has been increasingly frustrating for residents and community officials alike during the cleanup, recovery and rebuilding process. Add the recent issue with FEMA’s flood maps into the mix and things remain stalled in several places. There are a handful of communities that can’t take it anymore and are becoming more pro-active.

Calling FEMA’s Advisory Base Flood Elevation Maps severely flawed, Brick Township officials are working to fight them, tooth and nail. The maps, released in December, did not include all the necessary data to determine which areas are flood zones and which are less at risk.

Things like structures, bulkheads, trees, power lines, telephone poles and more were not considered – and they can all help break down a possible storm surge or high waves. That’s why in Brick, 400 homes in the V-Zone ballooned to over 4,000.

Mayor Steve Acropolis says they are now drafting up a bid specification and are looking to possibly bring in an outside firm for assistance on the appeal process.

“As of right now, the costs are unknown. We have just had the approval from the council to move forward with this. We can’t be caught in August with no plan in place if those new, revised maps need fixing.”

“Since FEMA unveiled their advisory base flood elevation maps, I have been extremely vocal in my opposition to them and the financial burden they are going to place on citizens. For the past several weeks, Councilman John Sangiovanni and I have been discussing hiring an experienced national firm to join us in our efforts to fight these maps.”

When the council receives bids for the project, it can choose to either accept or reject them. There is no word on a time table or cost at this point. If a bid is accepted, the process can then move on with the plans. Acropolis urges anyone who lives near a waterway to consider waiting, if possible, till August when FEMA is expected to release its new revised maps.

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