October 6, 2003
DATA ON THE NATIONAL FLOOD INSURANCE PROGRAM
RAHWAY, NJ –
The City of Rahway is a participant in a federally subsidized
program that enables property owners to purchase flood insurance.
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 is provided.
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, 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. FEMA upgraded
the city from class 9 to class 8, giving the approximate 402 flood
insurance policyholders in the city a total discount of 10 percent
off of flood insurance for all policies renewed after October 1,
2002. The total savings to city policyholders is approximately
$27,472, or $68 per policyholder.
strongly urges you to buy flood insurance as needed to protect
yourself from devastating losses due to flooding. You can find out
if your property is located in a special flood hazard area through
the City’s Department
of Building, Engineering, Planning & Economic Development
at (732_ 827-2176.
The local flood hazards
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. 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
Flood Protection Assistance
City Engineer can provide technical assistance relating to flood
elevations and data on historical flooding, and is available to
advise owners of appropriate flood protection measures.
If it has
been determined that your property is in a special flood hazard
area, there are several steps you can follow to alleviate problem
situations, such as:
- Keep children away from flood waters, ditches, culverts and
- Evacuate the flood hazard area in times of impending flood
or when advised to do so by the police or fire department.
- In your home, turn off flood prone electrical circuits and
shut off the water and gas service valves.
- Do not walk through flowing water. Currents can be
deceptive; six-inches of moving water can sweep you off your
- Do not drive through a flooded area. More people drown in
their cars than anywhere else. Don’t drive around road
barriers; the road or bridge may be washed out. If your car
stalls in high water, abandon it immediately and seek higher
- During times of heavy rainfall monitor the level of water in
the drainage way.
- Plan escape routes to high ground.
- Know the following flood warning system.
Flood Warning System
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
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.
Cable T.V. 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 N.J.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
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:
- Install a sump pump system to dispose of infiltrating water
to grade outside of the structure;
- Move essential items and furniture to the upper floors of
- Elevate electrical and mechanical equipment in the basement;
- Flood proof walls, windows and doors;
- Construct flood walls or closures;
- Elevate structures.
Please be advised that all development,
including filling of land located in a special flood hazard area,
is regulated differently from other areas. If you become aware of
illegal filling or development in the flood plain, please contact
of Building, Engineering, Planning & Economic Development.
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 Building, Engineering, Planning & Economic
Substantial Improvement Requirements
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% 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 standards.
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
For more information, contact the Department
of Building, Engineering, Planning & Economic Development
at (732) 827-2160.