Today, U.S. Senators Frank R. Lautenberg (D-NJ) and Robert Menendez (D-NJ) and U.S. Rep. Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-NJ) announced $18.5 million in new funding to support families in Wayne whose homes have been damaged repeatedly by flooding. The funds, provided by the Federal Emergency Management Agency's (FEMA) Severe Repetitive Loss Program (SRL), will assist families whose homes are located in one of New Jersey's most flood-prone areas.
The funds will be used to purchase approximately 70 homes within the Pompton and Passaic River Floodway. The homes have been identified for the volunteer buyout program, which gives families financial support to relocate, thereby minimizing future costs from insurance and repairs, alleviating safety risks caused by repeated flooding, and creating open space for flood water to settle.
"This program provides an opportunity for Wayne families that face flooding year after year to move out of harm's way," said Lautenberg, the Vice Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Homeland Security, which funds this program. "While we work to find long-term solutions to flooding in this region, this federal funding is an important step that will create open space and reduce future flood damage. I will keep fighting to support flood relief efforts that will improve our communities and make them safer places to live and work."
"Year after year, families in Wayne face the painful consequences of severe flood damage," said Menendez. "This funding will help them relocate to a safer neighborhood by allowing for the purchase of 70 homes in the area through a volunteer buyout program. While we find a long term solution to the chronic flooding that affects this area, the least we can do is to help our families get out of harm's way.
"This funding is indicative of the federal government keeping its promise to the Wayne residents who have endured repeated cycles of flooding and recovery. That promise is to help get them out of harm's way and on to resuming more sustainable lives," said Pascrell, an original member of the House Homeland Security Committee. "I am proud to be working in partnership with other federal officials as well as those from the the State of New Jersey and Wayne Township. I will continue to fight for federal resources to help residents in flood-prone areas throughout New Jersey."
In December 2011, Lautenberg and Pascrell announced more than $28 million for home buyouts of approximately 150 homes, including 56 in Wayne Township. Passaic County has been among the hardest-hit areas in New Jersey, facing seasonal storms and extensive damage from Hurricanes Irene and Lee.