Surf City Flood Mitigation Plan Stays the Course

Sep 19, 2018
File Photo by: Ryan Morrill

Less than 12 hours before Hurricane Florence made landfall near Wrightsville Beach, N.C., with the promise of epic and catastrophic flooding in its wake, the Surf City Borough Council received an update on its own flood protection plan.

The Sept. 7 report was written by Mary Madonna, municipal clerk/administrator and community rating systems coordinator. Officials annually review the Flood Plain Management Plan, developed several years ago by a committee of borough department heads and approved by the borough council. The timing of the review coinciding with the arrival of Hurricane Florence was purely coincidental.

Under the plan, the type of flooding experienced by the borough was identified and recommendations to mitigate it were put into play, such as the raising of structures above the base flood elevation that repeatedly filed loss claims, providing educational assistance, ensuring the preservation of open space and reviewing the Emergency Operations Plan.

“Aside from the many structures being raised or newly constructed on their own, the borough is also participating in a hazard mitigation grant program for house raising in which nine homes have qualified for grant funds to elevate above the base flood elevation,” according to the report, read into the record by Mayor Frances Hodgson.

Madonna’s report also found educational assistance is ongoing through a variety of resources that include herself, the municipal clerk’s office, the emergency management staff and the construction code officials.

“As part of the program, information about flood insurance and stormwater management was made available and handed out at various events, including the Surf City Fire Company Farmers Market,” according to the report.

Along with Barnegat Light, Long Beach Township, Harvey Cedars, Ship Bottom and Beach Haven, the borough participates in a multi-jurisdictional public information program that discusses and implements outreach programs, materials and emergency messaging.

Additionally, the Ocean County Office of Emergency Management and the borough have adopted an all-hazards mitigation plan, the report states. The borough also continues to update its stormwater control ordinances.  —G.G.S.





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