Acting New Jersey Gov. Richard J. Codey announced the creation of a task force on flood mitigation to study and implement measures to reduce the impacts of flooding in New Jersey communities.
“The flood victims from this month’s storm showed tremendous resilience,” Codey said. “We owe it to them to find ways to reduce future flooding and to establish safeguards for the areas most affected by heavy rains.”
The task force is comprised of professional engineers, public and elected officials, academicians, planners and others who have firsthand knowledge about flooding issues.
The task force will review the circumstances surrounding the early April flooding with a view toward identifying new ways to mitigate damage in the future. The members will consult with the state climatologist, the Office of Emergency Management and the United States Geological Survey on ways to manage flooding.
“Although natural disasters cannot be stopped, we can take steps to ensure that when the next flood occurs, we minimize the impact it has on our residents,” said Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Bradley Campbell.
From April 1-5, a major storm deposited four inches of rain on New Jersey, prompting Codey to declare a state of emergency. An estimated 3,500 homes were affected by the flooding, with at least 5,600 people evacuated.
The Acting Governor last week sent a letter to President Bush asking that he declare a major disaster for the state and release federal funds to assist property owners, businesses, and governmental agencies that incurred costs and damages. The state is seeking nearly $60 million in federal aid.
In addition, Codey directed the Department of Environmental Protection to work with the Delaware River Basin Commission and the Army Corps of Engineers to examine ways to reduce flooding along the Delaware River, especially in Trenton’s Island Neighborhood. The Acting Governor also expressed his commitment to exploring ways to combat the effects of flooding throughout the state.
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