FEMA Funding Upgrade to State’s Tidal Early Warning System

Jul 05, 2017

The Federal Emergency Management Agency has awarded the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection a $1,770,506 grant to upgrade and enhance the N.J. Tide Network Early Warning Systems, among other storm resiliency projects to better protect the state’s communities. According to a news release from the office of U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), “The DEP proposes to strengthen this network system and improve its ability to provide reliable early warning data and tidal water levels.”

The work includes installation of secondary water level sensors at 25 existing tide gauges along coastal New Jersey; installation of all-in-one meteorological sensors; and generation of coastal impact statements, and establishment of vital impact statements, for current tide gauge flood inundation mapping. Data collected by the new sensors will be used to create current flood inundation maps by linking existing tide gauges throughout a number of counties, including Ocean County.

As the release notes, “Coastal storm forecasts and early warning information from tidal water level and meteorological sensors provide much needed information to identify areas at the greatest risk for flooding.”

“Fortifying our communication, and upgrading the state’s early warning systems to detect tidal surges and potential flooding will only enhance our emergency and disaster response,” said Menendez. “We learned after Superstorm Sandy destroyed homes, devastated communities and shattered our state’s vital infrastructure that we must rebuild better and smarter to withstand the next storm. These federal investments are critical to ensuring New Jersey and its residents are stronger, more resilient and better prepared for when disaster strikes.”

As Sen. Cory Booker (also D-N.J.) added, “It is vital we remain committed to making our communities more resilient following Superstorm Sandy’s devastation in order to keep New Jersey families out of harm’s way. Federal investments like this are important steps in making sure we are better prepared to mitigate against future disasters.”

In 2013, President Obama signed into law the Superstorm Sandy Supplemental Appropriations bill, a funding package that included federal aid to help homeowners, businesses and communities recover, and to provide resources to rebuild coastal, transportation and water infrastructure. —J.K.-H.

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