Ship Bottom Councilman Wants LBI Flooding Conditions on Message Board
On a morning in late January, a lot of people heading to Long Beach Island had no idea that a nor’easter had resulted in widespread flooding. Instead of getting to their destination, the motorists got stuck at the entrance to the Island in Ship Bottom, where the main roads were impassable.
But at last week’s borough council meeting, Councilman Joseph Valyo suggested that the state Department of Transportation consider flashing messages to indicate when there is flooding on the Island.
“The signs are located by the hospital (Southern Ocean Medical Center) and by ShopRite” in Manahawkin on Route 72, said Valyo, who is also Ship Bottom’s emergency management coordinator. “They often give information about the Causeway Bridge construction project. The message could say something to the effect that there is flooding on the Island and that drivers should exercise caution.”
Valyo said he is looking to set up a meeting with the state Department of Transportation.
“The DOT would be responsible for inputting the messages on the sign,” he said. “They would do this from a facility in Cherry Hill. We could notify the DOT of flooding conditions, and then they would get the information out there through the sign. A lot of cars got stuck the last time we got flooded out, and if they know this ahead of time, maybe they’ll delay their trip to the Island.”
Ship Bottom is also looking into seeing if the county could install a pumping station to relieve flooding conditions in the 27th and 28th street areas at the end of Central Boulevard. The area is prone to flash flooding after heavy rainstorms.
Mayor William Huelsenbeck said the station would pump excess rain water into the bay.
“That area has had bad flooding for many years,” he said. “A pump station would help clear the road of excess water.”
Brian Farias, owner of the nearby Farias Surf & Sport, said during the public portion that the borough should have signs setting a 10 mph speed limit when roads are flooded.
“I’ve seen larger vehicles go through the flood waters, and they’re not going very slow,” he said. “That can result in water getting into houses. You could set that speed limit while you’re working on resolving flooding problems.”
— Eric Englund