Know Your Flood Hazard
The Borough of Seaside Park has undertaken a program to reduce flood insurance premiums in Seaside Park by participating in the National Flood Insurance Program’s Community Rating System. This program requires periodic notification to Seaside Park property owners of potential flood hazards and the availability of Flood Insurance.
Located as we are on a barrier peninsula, Seaside Park is particularly vulnerable to flood damage from hurricanes and other coastal storms. Additionally, because all storm water drains to the bayfront, heavy rainfall accompanied by high tides or wind can cause serious flood damage in low-lying areas. In recognition of these hazards, the entire Borough has been designated on the Flood Insurance Rate Map for Seaside Park as a Special Flood Hazard area except properties located on the filled or bulkheaded sections of “K” Street, “K” Court, “N” Street, “O” Street or the portion of the block north of Stockton Avenue and west of Bayview Avenue which have been identified as areas of minimal flooding.
Property damage from flooding is not covered by regular homeowner’s insurance. Flood insurance for buildings and contents is available in Seaside Park. You should contact your insurance agent for information on purchasing flood insurance.
For your convenience, the Borough maintains a collection of flood insurance, flood hazard mitigation, coastal construction methods and hurricane safety publications. These materials together with the Flood Insurance Rate Map and related information are available for review at the Office of Code Enforcement located at 1201 Barnegat Avenue and at the Ocean County Upper Shores Library located at 112 Jersey City Avenue, Lavallette. Additionally, the Borough will provide Flood Map Determinations to assist in locating a property’s Flood Zone.
Flood protection and coastal storm safety for the Borough of Seaside Park, Ocean County, New Jersey
If you are not occupying the home during the hurricane seasone, please forward this notice to your tenants or other family members living in your home. Additional copies are available at Borough Hall.
The Community Rating System
The Borough of Seaside Park is currently participating
in the Community Rating System (CRS) under the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). The CRS, administered by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), provides that a community who performs specific activities related to flood protection, flood awareness, and flood prevention, can secure reduced flood insurance premiums for all property owners within the community.
The Borough is an active participant within the program; our current rating within the program guideline is 8. If you carry flood insurance, this will result in a premium reduction of 10 percent. The program benefits all residents by increasing flood protection, awareness and prevention, as well as premium reductions for flood insurance policy holders.
Standard Homeowner’s Insurance Policies do not cover losses due to floods. However, Seaside Park is a participant in the National Flood Insurance Program, which makes it possible for Seaside Park Property Owners to obtain federally backed flood insurance. This insurance is available to any owner of insurable property (a building or its contents) in Seaside Park. Tenants may also insure their personal property against flood loss. The cost of flood insurance will vary depending upon the amount of coverage and the degree of flood hazard. We urge persons who live or own property in Seaside Park to purchase flood insurance to protect themselves from losses due to flooding. This insurance is required in certain circumstances, such as the purchase of a home with a federally backed mortgage.
CRITICAL NEWS! The Biggert Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act calls for a phase-out of grandfathered rates and a move to risk-based rates for most properties when the community adopts a new Flood Insurance Rate Map. If you live in a community that adopts a new, updated Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM), grandfathered rates will be phased out. This will happen gradually, with new rates increasing by 20% per year for five years.
Each homeowner is reminded that local construction permits are required for most modification you may plan for your house. The municipal ordinances and/or codes contain mandatory requirements related to new or modified building construction, certain of which are included to provide protection against flooding. Each homeowner should contact the Municipal Building Department (732) 793-5100 before they build, fill or otherwise develop any land within the Borough. It is also important, for the protection of the entire community, to notify the Municipal Building Department of any illegal filling of lands or building within the Borough that you might notice. The Seaside Park Building Department requires an elevation certificate prior to the issuance of a Certificate of Occupancy for new or substantially improved structures. Copies of all approved elevation certificates are available at the construction office located at 313 SW Central Avenue.
Additional information regarding building codes and flood resistant provisions can be found at the following website: https://www.fema.gov/building-code-resources
The municipal drainage system consists primarily of underground pipelines and catch basins located at street level. The Borough conducts semi-annual inspections of all catch basins under municipal jurisdiction and removes all sand and debris that has accumulated in the structure. The drainage system provides an important function in that it minimizes, where possible, localized flooding caused by rainwater. The Borough of Seaside Park has an anti-litter ordinance, which prohibits the disposal of debris within the Municipality. This ordinance in part is for the purpose of keeping litter out of the municipal storm drainage system. Any violations should be reported to the Code Enforcement Office at (732) 793-5100 or the Police Department.
The storm drainage system carries untreated storm runoff directly to Barnegat Bay. Illegal sanitary tie-in, pet waste and discharge of such wastes as oil, paint and fertilizer pollute the water, destroy aquatic plants, endanger wildlife and decrease the beauty of the Bay and Ocean. It is a violation of New Jersey State Law to discharge hazardous substance into the environment (including waste motor oil, petroleum products, pesticides and herbicides). Any such discharges should be reported to the New Jersey Environmental Hotline at 1-(877) 927-6337.
Property Protection Measures
Every year, flooding in the United States causes more property damage than any other type of natural disaster. While improvements in construction practices and regulations have made new homes less prone to flood damage, there are a significant number of existing homes susceptible to flood losses. The flooding to these properties can be minimized through temporary and permanent retrofitting techniques.
- One approach is to waterproof your walls and place watertight closures over the doorways. This method should be used on homes with basements or if water will not get over two feet deep.
- Another approach is to raise your house above the flood level. Over 55 houses in Seaside Park over the last five years have raised the elevation of their homes above the flood level.
There are various other actions each homeowner can take to flood proof their homes. Electrical panel boxes, furnaces, water heaters and washers and/or dryers should be located at a point in the house that is less likely to be flooded. Interior or exterior backflow water values can be installed or interior floodwalls can be placed around utilities in order to protect these essential services. If an impending flood is apparent for the area, and time permits, the homeowner should move essential items and furniture to the upper floors of the home for protection. Materials such as sandbags, plywood, plastic sheeting and lumber should be kept on hand for emergency waterproofing of your home. The use of these materials for a flood protection may minimize the amount of damage caused by floodwaters. It is unlikely that you get much warning of an imminent flooding situation so a detailed checklist prepared in advance would help ensure your greatest protection. During a hurricane, homes may be damaged or destroyed by high winds and high waves. Debris can break windows and doors, allowing high winds inside the home. Roofs, windows, doors, and garage doors should be properly checked
The Federal Insurance Administration suggests the following action when coastal storms or hurricanes are imminent:
- Turn off all electrical power at panel.
- Close main gas value.
- Move household items to the highest level you can.
- Remove cardboard boxes and newspapers as these materials can disintegrate and clog drains and vents.
- Keep a full tank of gas in your automobile.
Additional information for property protection measures can be found at https://www.fema.gov/protecting-homes
If you leave your home, here are some essentials you should take: first aid supplies, supply of non-perishable food, batteries (hearing aid, flashlight) and battery operated portable radio blankets, dry clothing, shoes and socks, important papers, bank and check books, valuable and cherished items.
Flood Safety: There are several actions residents of Seaside Park can take to decrease the potential for injury due to flooding.
- Know the flood warning procedure.
- Do not attempt to cross flowing water where water is above your knees.
- Keep children away from floodwaters, ditches, culverts and storm drains.
- If your vehicle stalls in high water, abandon it immediately and seek higher ground.
- Evacuate the flood hazard areas in times of impending flood or when advised to do so by the police or fire department.
- Cut off all electric circuits at the fuse panel or disconnect switch. If this is not possible, turn off or disconnect all electrical appliances. Shut off the water service and gas values in your home.
- Stay away from downed power lines and electric lines. Report downed lines to the Municipal Police Department.
- Look out for animals. Small animals that have been flooded out of their homes may seek shelter in your home.
- Clean everything that gets wet. Floodwater may have contacted road chemicals, sewage and other harmful materials.
For up to date notifications regarding emergency events the Borough offers the Swift 911 notification system. Residents may sign up for the service by clicking on the link on the home page or going to https://www.seasideparknj.org/offices-departments/police/swift-911/.
In the case of an emergency event, the primary evacuation procedure is to follow the evacuation signs located on Route 35 directing traffic over the Route 37 Bridge to Eastern Toms River.
Additional information regarding what you can do to protect yourself during an emergency event can be found at the following website: http://www.state.nj.us/drbc/hydrological/flood/preparedness/whatyoucando.html
For further information on property or personal protection measures, please feel free to contact the Borough’s CRS Coordinator, Pamela Hilla or the Office of Emergency Management Coordinator, Chief Larkin at (732) 793-5100.
The Borough of Seaside Park is vulnerable to coastal storms and hurricanes. Typically, severe winter storms, or Nor’easters, occur each year between Mid-October and Mid-May. The entire Borough of Seaside Park is located in a special flood hazard area and is vulnerable to flooding from the Atlantic Ocean and Barnegat Bay. The most recent significant storm occurred October 29, 2012 and caused damage to homes and the boardwalk. Most of the damage occurred in the southern portion of Seaside Park.
The following is a list of contact personnel who have the knowledge, experience and have agreed to discuss flood hazard protection methods with you.
New Jersey Floodplain Management Services
Clark Gilman, NFIP Coordinator (609) 292-2296
Ocean County Soil Conservation District
David Friedman, District Director (609) 971-7002
Borough CRS Coordinator
Pamela Hilla (732) 286-9220
Borough Construction Official
Robert Nora (732) 793-5100
Office of Emergency Management
Chief Francis Larkin, SPPD (732) 793-8000
Army Corps of Engineers (215) 656-6500
FEMA Regional Office
Additional information concerning flood protection assistance is available on the following websites, as well as the Upper Shores Branch of the Ocean County Library: https://www.fema.gov/national-flood-insurance-program