SEA BRIGHT: TOWN HALL ON REFERENDUM

sb parking 081916 3BOROUGH of SEA BRIGHT Library + Beach PavilionSea Bright residents are scheduled to gather for a town hall meeting Tuesday night to discuss a referendum on whether to bond for new public facilities to replace those destroyed by Hurricane Sandy in October, 2012.

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ON THE GREEN: FILM TRACKS SANDY RECOVERY

Here’s the trailer to “After Sandy,” a new film made over the past three years by Middetown resident Joe Minnella to document the rebuilding efforts at the Jersey shore in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. Minnella and Anthony Jude Setaro of Red Bank, who produced the film, are alumni of Red Bank Catholic High School.

To view the full  100-minute film, click “like” at the “After Sandy” Facebook page and you’ll receive a link to the film page at 8 p.m. on Thursday. The film will be available for viewing until 8 p.m Friday. (Click to enlarge)

 

SEA BRIGHT BEGINS LOOKING TO 2020

Borough residents at Monday night’s 2020 session, where FEMA planner Linda Weber, below, took notes. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

The scene: a public brainstorming session at Sea Bright’s borough hall.

The purpose: to begin shaping what’s expected to be a long-range process to address housing and commercial needs both in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy and in anticipation of another such walloping.

With the floor opened to observations, one woman raised concerns about vacant homes attracting prowlers.

A man’s suggestion that all the utility poles along Ocean Avenue be removed drew a smattering of applause.

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RUMSON: AU REVOIR, V-ZONE

A home on Warren Street in Rumson undergoing elevation in February. (Click to enlarge)

By COLBY WILSON

All homes in storm-battered Rumson have been moved out of the most vulnerable flood zone under new flood-elevation maps released by the Federal Emergency Management Agency Monday.

Mayor John Ekdahl says the revised maps are significantly different than the advisory maps released back in December.

“One of the things that becomes apparent as it effects Rumson is that we virtually lost all “V” zones,” Ekdahl said. “Even Barley Point [Island}, where we lost four homes, was removed.”

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SEA BRIGHT: NEW FEMA MAPS OFFER ANSWERS

A pair of homes undergoing elevation on Center Street in Sea Bright earlier this month. (Click to enlarge)

By COLBY WILSON

Changes to the federal government’s flood risk maps are out, and the revisions are providing relief to anxious homeowners in Sea Bright and elsewhere along New Jersey’s coastline.

The new maps, officially unveiled Monday, show that the Federal Emergency Management Agency greatly reduced the scope of areas in the dreaded zone V, in which homes are said to be imperiled not only by flooding but wave action.

On Monday, Sea Bright Mayor Dina Long told redbankgreen the latest maps showed a “V” zone shift, and that it was good news for residents in her town.

“Nearly all of the homes west of Ocean Avenue were moved back to AE zones,” she said.

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SEA BRIGHT: FEMA TAKING THE LONG VIEW

The long-term revitalization of the downtown is expected to be among the topics addressed by FEMA-organized teams. (Click to enlarge)

By WIL FULTON

The Federal Emergency Management Agency is about to make its presence known in a big way to Sea Bright, officials said Thursday night.

Through a Community Recovery Assistance program being launched in the storm-battered beachside borough, FEMA plans to inject trained professionals to help locals guide their own long-term recovery.

Two representatives from the program were present at Thursday night’s mayor and council workshop meeting – Linda Weber, a professional planner, and T.W. Theodore, Recovery Task Force Lead – to lay out some of their plans for Sea Bright’s recovery.

“The idea is that we want to help you in any way we can,” Weber said, “to help the community move closer and closer towards your recovery, to take some of the work off your table and put it onto ours.”

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LITTLE SILVER BOOSTS ELEVATION LAW

A home on Town Creek, as seen from Paag Circle Monday. (Click to enlarge)

By WIL FULTON

Like Rumson and Sea Bright before it, Little Silver adopted new federal elevation standards for homes in flood zones Monday night, only this time with a recommendation that homeowners go higher.

By a unanimous vote, the borough council adopted an ordinance amendment that would require all new homes, and existing homes that suffered substantial water damage during Hurricane Sandy, to follow the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s new ABFE advisory base flood elevation guidelines, plus a foot for extra protection.

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SEA BRIGHT: FEMA TOUTS UPLIFTING STORY

A new video on the FEMA website features a two-family townhouse on Ocean Avenue in Sea Bright that emerged from Hurricane Sandy will almost no damage. (Click to enlarge)

What saves homes from destructive hurricane flooding? The builder of a Sea Bright two-family that came through Sandy with barely a scratch credits building above code standards, according to a new video produced by the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

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SEA BRIGHT DROPS ‘UNWORKABLE’ FEMA FIX

Flip-flops over coverage of homeowner repair costs prompted town officials to withdraw from a pilot program, they said. (Click to enlarge)

By WIL FULTON

Frustrated by bureaucratic waffling, Sea Bright officials pulled the borough out of a federal program aimed at quickly getting residents back into their Hurricane Sandy-damaged homes Tuesday night.

Town officials cited indecision and flip-flops over what would be covered by the Federal Emergency Management Administration’s Sheltering and Temporary Electric and Power, or STEP, program as the main the reasons for the withdrawal.

“The goal was to get the residents home,” said Mayor Dina Long. “We thought the STEP program would be very helpful in achieving that goal, but ultimately it turned out to be unworkable.”

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SEA BRIGHT: UPLIFTING IDEAS FROM KATRINA

Rod Scott addresses Sea Bright residents on post-hurricane home-elevation techniques. (Photo by Wil Fulton. Click to enlarge)

By WIL FULTON

Sea Bright residents were greeted with a bit of southern flavor and optimism Wednesday night in the form of two men from the Gulf Coast who guided their communities in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

Tommy Longo, ex-mayor of Waveland, Mississippi, and a home-elevation expert made presentations at the latest in a series of post-storm town hall meetings held in the aftermath of the Hurricane Sandy’s devastation.

Longo, who called his small beach town “ground zero for Hurricane Katrina,” saw more than 95 percent of Waveland destroyed, with the loss of approximately fifty lives.

“There were 32 homes on my street, and now seven years later, there are only three,” said Longo, who served as mayor for 16 years. “Our town was very much like Sea Bright in a lot of ways, before and after the storm. Believe me, I know what you are going through.”

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SEA BRIGHT ON THE RISE, HEIGHTWISE

Ed Wheeler’s house on Ocean Avenue is the first to have been raised since the hurricane. Many more are expected to be lifted under pending changes. (Click to enlarge)

By WIL FULTON

Sea Bright homeowners will have some wiggle room under new building codes hashed out at back-to-back council and planning board meetings Tuesday night.

The pending changes, expected to be adopted by the council February 5, are aimed at eliminating red tape for property owners whose houses might exceed overall height restrictions after they’ve been lifted to comply with the Federal Emergency Management Administration’s advisory base flood elevation levels, town officials said.

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RUMSON UPS FLOOR LEVELS IN FLOOD ZONES

Blue markers on an aerial view of Rumson indicate homes that were damaged by floods during Hurricane Sandy. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Rumson became the first town on the Green to change its building standards in the wake of Hurricane Sandy when it boosted minimum first-floor levels in flood zones Tuesday night.

After storm-driven tides sent surges as high as 12 feet into homes along the Navesink and Shrewsbury rivers, the borough council approved a zoning change that sets a new minimum level of 13 feet above base flood elevations in waterfront zones, replacing minimums of eight, nine and 10 feet.

The changes, and a pledge to revisit the ordinance after the Federal Emergency Management Administration issues new elevation guidelines, expected within the next two weeks, mostly drew praise from residents who said their efforts to resolve insurance claims and rebuild their homes would have been stalled by inaction.

“People need to tell their insurance companies” what the Rumson standard is “so they can decide whether to stay and rebuild, raise their homes or move,” said borough Administrator Tom Rogers. “We’re trying to help them.”

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