City of Rahway
1 City Hall Plaza
Rahway, NJ 07065
(732) 827-2000



October 6, 2003


RAHWAY, NJ – 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 is provided.

Flood Insurance

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.

The City 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 Library.

Flood Protection Assistance

The 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.

Flood Safety

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:

  1. Keep children away from flood waters, ditches, culverts and storm drains.
  2. 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. 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 ground.
  6. During times of heavy rainfall monitor the level of water in the drainage way.
  7. Plan escape routes to high ground.
  8. Know 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 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

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:

  1. Install a sump pump system to dispose of infiltrating water to grade outside of the structure;
  2. Move essential items and furniture to the upper floors of your home;
  3. Elevate electrical and mechanical equipment in the basement;
  4. Flood proof walls, windows and doors;
  5. Construct flood walls or closures;
  6. Elevate structures.

Floodplain Development

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 the Department 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 Development.

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 elevation.

For more information, contact the Department of Building, Engineering, Planning & Economic Development at (732) 827-2160.


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