Although a recent meeting with representatives from Gov. Chris Christie's office was productive, Berkeley officials will continue to oppose FEMA's advisory base flood elevation guidelines, Mayor Carmen F. Amato Jr. said.
Amato, Councilman John Bacchione and Councilwoman Judy Noonan met on Friday state representatives to discuss the guidelines - also known as ABFEs - and disaster financing.
"Basically, we are under the impression that the maps could change," Amato said. "We strongly stressed our main issue is nearly 40 percent of our maritime area is now in the velocity "V-zone".
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) released the advisory maps in mid-December. It recommends elevations at which a property can survive a 100-year storm with relatively minor damage. It also maps Velocity Zones (V Zones), where properties could sustain damage from storm waves of at least three feet on top of flood waters. Recommended elevations in V Zones are higher.
Amato and Township Council President James J. Byrnes - who represents the Ward 1 section of the township - also went to Trenton last week to meet with state officials to voice their concerns.
Township officials will continue to oppose the 'V' zone designation in many areas over the next few months during the regulatory process, Amato.
"We will state our case why the V-zones should be scaled back," the mayor said. "There is no wave action in Glen Cove, Berkeley Shores or Toms River Shores to warrant these designations."
Amato also said decimated sand dunes in Island Beach State Park may have been responsible for much of the flooding in waterfront areas in Bayville.
"Something needs to be done with having dunes installed on Island Beach State Park," he said. "The flooding of Barnegat Bay - which in my opinion, caused flooding on the mainland sections of Bayville - was a combination of not having a dune system in place, the full moon causing the tide to rise and the drastic wind shift. Unfortunately, It was the perfect 100 year storm."
Township officials are also planning another informational session soon to help residents through the permit and rebuilding process, Amato said.,
The following are projected National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) annual flood insurance premiums for V Zone properties with $250,000 residential building coverage:Lowest Floor Elevation No Contents Covered $100,000 Contents Covered 3 Feet Above $2,403 $2,923 2 Feet Above $3,278 $4,048 1 Feet Above $4,728 $5,918 At BFE $6,803 $8,603 1 Foot Below $9,003 $11,583 2 Feet Below $12,074 $15,764 3 Feet Below $15,524 $20,474 4 Feet Below $17,334 $23,304 6 Feet Below $23,449 $32,019