City of Rahway
The City of Rahway is a participant in a federally
subsidized program that enables property owners to purchase flood
insurance. The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), administered by the
Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), requires that the City adopt
specific flood damage reduction education, planning and building criteria.
In an effort to inform residents and property owners of the
presence of flood hazards in Rahway and to suggest possible actions that may
be taken to protect persons and property, the following article is being
sent to you because the City of Rahway has many flood prone areas and your
property may be susceptible to flooding.
Most homeowner insurance policies do not cover losses due to
floods. However, since Rahway is a participant in the NFIP, it is possible
for property owners to obtain federally backed flood insurance. This
insurance is available to any owner of insurable property (a building or its
contents) in Rahway. Tenants may also insure their personal property
against flood loss. Also, most flood insurance policy holders in Rahway
benefit from premium discounts. This is due to the City’s extensive efforts
to obtain credits, through the Community Rating system (CRS), to maintain
specific measures for flood damage reduction.
The City strongly urges you to buy flood insurance as needed
to protect yourself from devastating losses due to flooding. Following the
purchase of flood insurance, NFIP imposes a 30-day waiting period, so
residents should purchase insurance before the onset of the rainy season to
ensure coverage during the flooding season. You can find out if your
property is located in a special flood hazard area through the Office of the
City Engineer at (732) 827-2183.
The local flood hazard
The areas in and around the North and South Branches of the
Rahway River, the Robinson’s Branch of the Rahway River, the Orchard St.
Brook, Maurice Avenue Brook, Milton Lake, Rahway Lake Park and certain other
watercourses are subject to flooding. Flooding occurs in Rahway because the
flood carrying capacities of the river channels are exceeded, which is
caused by a number of factors, such as record rainfall intensities and
increased impervious surfaces due to upstream development. Floodplain maps,
charts, reports and studies that document these areas are available for
review in the Department of Engineering and also available for review at the
Rahway Public Library.
Flood protection assistance
The City Engineer’s office can provide
technical assistance relating to flood elevations and data on historical
flooding, and is available to advise owners of appropriate flood protection
measures. City staff members are available to undertake site
visits, if requested and authorized, to review flood, drainage, and sewer
issues. Please contact the Engineering Department at (732) 827-2183 for
Following is a list of important considerations that should be followed
during times of flooding:
children away from flood waters, ditches, culverts and storm drains.
Evacuate the flood hazard area in times of impending flood or when advised
to do so by the police or fire department.
3. In your
home, turn off flood prone electrical circuits and shut off the water and
gas service valves.
4. Do not
walk through flowing water. Currents can be deceptive; six-inches of moving
water can sweep you off your feet.
5. Do not
drive through a flooded area. More people drown in their cars than anywhere
else. Do not drive around road barriers; the road or bridge may be washed
out. If your car stalls in high water, abandon it immediately and seek
times of heavy rainfall monitor the level of water in the drainage way.
escape routes to high ground.
the following flood warning system.
Flood warning system
When the City of Rahway is expecting or experiencing
inclement weather that may include heavy rain, residents in flood prone
areas or low lying area are urged to plan preventative actions to protect
life and property.
Residents are urged to monitor frequently weather and flood
conditions that are broadcast over local radio and television stations.
Residents will be provided with flood watch and flood warning advisories. A
flood watch advisory indicates that the potential for a flood exists in the
watch area, while a flood warning indicates that a flood has been detected.
Comcast Channel 34 covers the City and will issue timely
updated information. This station is part of the Emergency Broadcast System
(EBS) as are local television stations Channel 5 & 9. Radio station NJ
101.5 FM will also carry EBS messages.
In extreme situations, personnel of the Rahway Office of
Emergency Management or Department of Public Safety will conduct “Route
Altering” within flood prone areas to advise residents to move to higher
ground prior to water levels reaching critical stages.
Property protection measures
There are various actions which can be taken to flood-proof
structures. Depending upon the situation, location and availability of
funds, the following measures can be used:
a sump pump system to dispose of infiltrating water to grade outside of the
essential items and furniture to the upper floors of your home;
electrical and mechanical equipment in the basement;
proof walls, windows and doors;
Construct flood walls or closures;
most effective way to flood-proof a structure is to elevate it.
times of flooding, homes that have not been retrofitted can be protected
during emergencies by the installation of sandbags.
Please be advised that all development,
including filling of land located in a special flood hazard area, is
regulated differently from other areas and may require a permit. Contact
the Office of the City Engineer at (732) 827-2183 for further information
and prior to undertaking any activity within the floodplain or if you see
non-permitted building or filling in the floodplain.
Recognize the natural and beneficial functions of floodplains to help reduce
Floodplains are a natural component of the City of Rahway environment.
Understanding and protecting the natural functions of floodplains help
reduce flood damage and protect resources. When flooding spreads out across
the floodplain, its energy is dissipated, which results in lower flood flows
downstream, reduced erosion of the stream bank and channel, deposition of
sediments higher in the watershed, and improved groundwater recharge.
Floodplains are scenic, valued wildlife habitats, and suitable for
residential gardening. Poorly planned development in floodplains can lead
to stream bank erosion, loss of valuable property, increased risk of
flooding to downstream properties, and degradation of water quality. A
number of County and Municipal parks like the Rahway River Parkway and
Milton Lake Park preserve the stream corridor and prevent development in
Drainage system maintenance
In addition to regulating development and
fill within the flood hazard area, the City of Rahway and State of New
Jersey have regulations prohibiting dumping in channels, obstructing flows
or any activity that would adversely effect the water-carrying capacity of
any channel, floodway or floodplain. It has been demonstrated that
regulating development and maintaining drainage systems can alleviate
recurrent flooding which endangers life and damages property and
facilities. Any activities that may be in violation of these regulations
should be reported to the Department of Engineering at (732) 827-2183.
With respect to requirements of the National
Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) relative to substantial improvement in the
flood plain, please be advised that if the cost of reconstruction,
rehabilitation, additions, or other improvement to a building or home equals
or exceeds 50 percent of the building’s market value, then the building must
meet the same flood plain construction requirements as a new building.
Substantially damaged buildings must also be brought up to the same
This requirement means elevating the lowest
floor, including basement and certain utility systems, one (1) foot above
the base flood elevation, which is the 100-year flood elevation.
Map of the local flood hazard area:
determine whether your property is located within a special flood hazard
area, FEMA’s Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRM) are available at the Office of
the City Engineer at One City Hall Plaza, Rahway, New Jersey 07065. The
maps are also available below or
FEMA’s Map Service Center website.
Important Contact Information:
Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)
FEMA Map Service Center
The National Flood Insurance Program
Rahway Public Library
Hiring a Contractor
City of Rahway flood
FEMA flood map for Rahway
FEMA flood map with benchmark
data for surveyors updated 1/2/08
Additional information is
available at the Rahway Public Library.
Click here to view the list of
documents available to the public.