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Senator Lautenberg, Rep. Pascrell Announce $8.7 Million Federal Grants To Raise And Buyout Homes In Passaic County Flood Zones

Press Release

Location: Washington, DC

Continuing in their efforts to keep flood mitigation in the Passaic River Valley a top priority, U.S. Sen. Frank R. Lautenberg (D-NJ) and U.S. Rep. Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-NJ-8) today announced a total of $8.7 million in hazard mitigation grants through the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

"This federal funding will help reduce the threats posed by frequent flooding in Little Falls, Pompton Lakes and Wayne whenever there's a major storm event," said Lautenberg, the Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Homeland Security which funds FEMA. "I pledge to continue working to alleviate flood damages in the Passaic River Basin so that families in these communities are safe and secure."

"It's been six months since the flooding that followed the nor'easter last March, but many of the residents in flood-prone areas are still working to get their lives in order after their homes were flooded," said Pascrell, an original member of the House Homeland Security Committee, which has FEMA within its jurisdiction. These funds will allow residents to move out of harm's way or permanently elevate their homes so that they can continue their lives with security and peace of mind."

FEMA's Severe Repetitive Loss (SLR) grant program has granted $5,973,120 to the Township of Little Falls, Passaic County for the elevation of approximately 34 residences. The lowest floor of each home would be above flood levels expected during a 100-year storm as identified by the Base Flood Elevation of the Passaic and/or Peckman Rivers. The federal government will pay for 90 percent of the project's total $6,636,800 cost.

The flood-prone properties to be mitigated through this project are located on Louis Street, Riverview Circle, William Street and Parkway.

The announcement of this funding followed Rep. Pascrell's Sept. 21 announcement on the bank of the Peckman River that the House Energy & Water Appropriations Subcommittee approved an additional $620,000 to the USACE. This funding will provide the resources needed to finish the study and begin work on construction and implementation. Since 2001, Rep. Pascrell has secured more than $2 million in federal funding for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' study of the Peckman River.

FEMA has also granted, through the same program, $2,763,900 to the N. J. Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) for the acquisition of eight residential structures located in the Passaic River Basin. Six of the homes are in Pompton Lakes, one is in Little Falls and one is in Wayne. The federal government will pay for 90 percent of the project's total $3,071,000 cost.

The SRL grant program was authorized by the Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2004, which amended the National Flood Insurance Act of 1968 to provide funding to reduce or eliminate the long-term risk of flood damage to severe repetitive loss (SRL) structures insured under the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP).

An SRL property is defined in the National Flood Insurance Act as a residential property that is covered under an NFIP flood insurance policy and:

* has at least four NFIP claim payments (including building and contents) over $5,000 each, and the cumulative amount of such claims payments exceeds $20,000; or

* for which at least two separate claims payments (building payments only) have been made with the cumulative amount of the building portion of such claims exceeding the market value of the building.

In addition to this funding, Lautenberg and Pascrell secured $5 million in Fiscal Year 2010 to acquire homes in Pompton Lakes and Wayne under the authority of the Army Corps of Engineers.

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