Menendez, Booker Announce $3M for NJ Storm Resiliency, Flood Mitigation Projects

Menendez, Booker Announce $3M for NJ Storm Resiliency, Flood Mitigation Projects

Federal investment to enhance NJ’s tidal early warning system, upgrade Essex County dispatch center

U.S. Senators Bob Menendez and Cory Booker today announced the awarding of a combined $2,966,500.70 from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to fund storm resiliency projects to better protect New Jersey residents and communities in the wake of Superstorm Sandy. 

 “Fortifying our communications, and upgrading the state’s early warning systems to detect tidal surges and potential flooding will only enhance our emergency and disaster response,” said Sen. 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.” 

 “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,” said Sen. Booker.  “Federal investments like this are important steps in making sure we are better prepared to mitigate against future disasters.”

The specific grant awards:

  • $1,770,506 – N.J.  Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP) – Proposed Upgrades to Enhance the NJ Tide Network Early Warning System

To fund 100% of the cost to upgrade and enhance the New Jersey (NJ) Tide Network Early Warning Systems.  The DEP proposes to strengthen this network system and improve its ability to provide reliable early warning data and tidal water-levels by 1) Installation of secondary water-level sensors by adding water-level sensor to 25 existing tide gauges along coastal N.J., 2) Installation of all-in-one meteorological sensors, and 3) generation of Coastal Impact statements and establishing vital impact statements of current tide gauges flood inundation mapping at each tide gauge by coastal county.  The data collected by these new sensors will be used to create current and useful flood inundation maps by linking existing tide gauges in the following locations:  Bergen, Essex, Middlesex, Monmouth, Ocean, Atlantic, Cape May, and Cumberland.  The state has a high proportion of coastline, rivers, and streams which lead it to having a higher propensity for flooding.  According to the 2014 State Hazard Mitigation Plan, all 21 counties have been impacted by flooding.  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.

  • $1,195,994.70  – Essex County – Relocation and Upgrade of County Dispatch Center (Newark, Essex)

To fund 90% of the cost to relocate three (3) public facilities: the Command Post, Criminal Justice Information Systems Operations, and Central Communications Center from their current location in the basement of 60 West Market Street to the second floor of 50 West Market Street in Newark.  This project will mitigate the negative effects of power loss, rain intrusion, and wind damage.  The project includes all necessary labor and material costs for the creation of a functional floorplan in the new space, installation of existing communications equipment, modification of workstations, compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, and the installation of all necessary electrical and mechanical components to connect these three critical facilities to an existing emergency generator.

In 2013, President Obama signed the Superstorm Sandy Supplemental Appropriations bill into law, bringing the total Sandy aid enacted by Congress to $60.2 billion. The funding package included federal aid to help homeowners, businesses, and communities recover, and resources to rebuild coastal, transportation, and water infrastructure.