FLOOD PROTECTION AND COASTAL STORM SAFETY
FOR THE BOROUGH OF LAVALLETTE
OCEAN COUNTY, NEW JERSEY
Mayor Walter G. LaCicero
Council President Anita Zalom
The Community Rating System
The Borough of Lavallette 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.
This is the Borough’s ninth year of active participation within the program. We continue to maintain a rating of 8 within the program guidelines. If you carry flood insurance, this will result in 10 percent reduction in your annual flood insurance premium. The program benefits all residents by increasing flood protection, awareness, and prevention, as well as, premium reductions for flood insurance policy holders.
IF YOU ARE NOT OCCUPYING THE HOME DURING THE HURRICANE SEASON, PLEASE FORWARD THIS NOTICE TO YOUR TENANTS OR OTHER FAMILY MEMBERS LIVING IN YOUR HOME. ADDITIONAL COPIES ARE AVAILABLE AT BOROUGH HALL.
Standard Homeowner’s Insurance Policies do not cover losses due to floods. However, Lavallette is a participant in the National Flood Insurance Program, which makes it possible for Lavallette Property Owners to obtain federally backed flood insurance. This insurance is available to any owner of insurable property (a building or its contents) in Lavallette. Tenants may also insure their personal property against flood loss. The Borough encourages all property owners or renters to carry flood insurance.
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 Lavallette 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 NEW! If there is a Flood-Insurance Policy lapse for any reason (sale, cancellation, etc.), any new policy will be based on the current rating system and will not be “Grand fathered”. In the event of a sale, policyholders must transfer coverage to the purchaser to provide flood insurance coverage at the “Grand fathered” (lower) rate.
Note: There is a 30-day waiting period before most flood insurance policies go into effect.
Each homeowner is reminded that local construction permits are required for most modifications 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) 793-5105 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 Lavallette 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 Borough Hall.
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 Lavallette has an anti-liter 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 Borough Hall, Code enforcement Office at (732) 793-5105 or the Police Department.
The storm drainage system carries untreated storm runoff directly to Barnegat Bay. Illegal sanitary tie-in, pet wastes, 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 Measurers
Every year, flooding in the United States causes more property damage than any other type of natural disaster. In addition, sea levels continue to rise. 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 240 houses in Lavallette 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.
If you leave your home, here are some essentials you should take: first aid supplies, supply of non-perishable food, batteries (hearing aid, flashlight), battery operated portable radio, blankets, dry clothing, shoes, and socks, important papers, bank and check books, valuable and cherished items, games for children and adults
For further information on this topic, please fell free to contact the Borough’s CRS Coordinator, Chris Parlow or the Deputy Emergency Management Coordinator, Michele Burk at (732) 793-7477.
There are several actions residents of Lavallette 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.
Important Note: In the event of a major disaster or hurricane the only means to identify your home may be through the number affixed to the building. Please make sure your home does have the house number properly placed on the building. The number should be large enough to view from the street and the color of the number should contrast with the color of the home.
Flood / Local Hazard
The Borough of Lavallette 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 Lavallette is located in a special flood hazard area and is vulnerable to flooding from the Atlantic Ocean and Barnegat Bay, as well as, storm surge from hurricanes. The most recent significant storm occurred in December of 1992 and caused damage to homes and the boardwalk. Most of the damage occurred in the southern portion of Lavallette.
Natural and Beneficial Functions
The dune and beach areas help reduce damage by mitigating the effects of storm waves.
Without the dunes, oceanfront properties would be exposed to the full force of waves during storm events. The natural and beneficial function of the ocean front dunes cannot be overemphasized. Lavallette Development of Beaches Ordinance (Chapter 7A) regulates the beach and dune area, prohibiting virtually all construction and regulating access. What you can do to help:
- Stay off the dune!
- Cross dunes only at approved pathways or walkways.
- Support in dune maintenance (dune grass planting program).
- Report Development of Beaches Ordinance violations.
The Barnegat Bay is a valuable natural resource. It provides habitat for numerous aquatic species. It is also provides many different types of recreational opportunities for those who live in or visit this area. Non-point source pollution, that is pollution from automobiles, construction, fertilizers and pesticides applications, animal waste, litter, and urban runoff, is estimated to contribute up to 60% of our existing pollution problems. All catch basins in Lavallette empty directly into the Barnegat Bay. Your efforts to reduce these types of pollution sources will have a significant impact on the water quality of the Barnegat Bay.
Substantial Improvements / Damage Repair
The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) requires that if the cost of reconstruction, rehabilitation, addition, or other improvements to a building equals or exceeds 50% of the building’s market value, then the building must meet the same construction requirements of a new building. Substantially damaged buildings must also be brought up to the same standards (e.g. a residence damaged so that the cost of repairs equals or exceeds 50% of the building’s value before it was damaged must be elevated above the base flood elevation). This requirement is required by the Chapter 40 of the Code of the Borough of Lavallette, Flood Hazard Area Ordinance, and enforced through the Building Permit process.
Flood Warning System
The following Evacuation Plan is designed for evacuation of the Borough of Lavallette in the event of hurricanes or severe flooding: During the likelihood of an emergency or disaster event the Emergency Management Officials will provide important information.
- Information Disseminated Via Radio
- You should turn your radio to one of the following radio stations:
1160 WOBM-AM 100.1 WJRZ-FM
92.7 WOBM-FM 1310 WJLK-AM
- Information Disseminated Via Television - Ocean Monmouth Cable TV
- If you don’t have access to a radio, call 1-800-792-8314 for the New Jersey State Police Emergency Management Hotline.
- Police Department will use their loudspeakers to advise citizens of the emergency and information regarding evacuation routes.
- During most events, traffic control positions will be located
at the following intersections:
Route 35 North and Ortley Avenue
Route 35 South and New Brunswick Avenue
Bay Boulevard and New Brunswick Avenue
- If you are unable to evacuate please contact the Lavallette Police Department at (732) 793-4800 to arrange your transportation to inland shelter.
FEMA has recently initiated a change in the way the Community Rating System (CRS) premium discounts are applied. If you are a flood insurance policy holder, you have been receiving a discount on your flood insurance premium based on the Borough’s involvement in the CRS program. Effective May 1, 2008, FEMA has instituted a new policy. The policy states that flood insurance policies for buildings that are rated as having the lowest floor one foot or more below the base flood elevation will no longer be eligible for the Borough’s CRS discount. Most policy holders will not know why there is an increase because their renewal policy statement may not mention it or their premiums are paid by a mortgage escrow account. However, upon receipt of the payment of the annual renewal, the issued declaration page will have a zero for the CRS discount. If you are notified that the CRS discount has been removed there may be ways to inexpensively retrofit the structure to bring it into compliance. The Borough does maintain copies of all Elevation Certificates that have been filed over the last several years. Copies of the certificates are available for review and should provide the answer as to why the discount was removed. Your insurance agent can also verify how the structure has been rated. It is possible that there is an error in the lowest floor or base flood elevation.
Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRM’s) Information
The Borough of Lavallette will continue to provide inquirers with information from the Flood Insurance Rate Maps, including the flood zone, and a property’s base flood elevation. The actual Flood Insurance Rate Maps are available for review at the Borough Clerk’s Office. The Borough is located in a Coastal A Zone.
The following is a list of contact personnel who have the knowledge, experience, and have agreed to discuss flood hazard protection methods with you.
Bureau of Dam Safety and Flood Control
Ocean County Soil Conservation District:
David Friedman, District Director
Borough CRS Coordinator:
Borough Building Inspector:
Kenneth E. Kiseli
Emergency Management Coordinator
Police Chief Colin Grant
Michael O’Donnell (732) 573-0490
FEMA Region II -
Army Corps of Engineers
Additional information concerning flood protection assistance is available on the following websites as well as the Upper Shores Branch of the Ocean County Library:
Emergency Notification System
The Emergency Notification System will send messages to a database of telephone numbers and email addresses. The Borough of Lavallette strongly encourages all residents and guests to visit our website at www.lavallette.org/notify , and register your land line, cell phone numbers and email addresses to receive emergency messages from the Borough of Lavallette.
A sample copy of the Borough’s Flood Map is included on this page. The actual Flood Insurance Rate Maps are available for review at the Borough Clerk’s Office. The Borough is located in a Coastal A Zone.
Important Update - Preliminary Work Maps:
The Preliminary Work Map information is now available
on the FEMA Region 2 Coastal
The online Tool, “What is my Base Flood Elevation (BFE)?” is also available on
www.Region2Coastal.com for residents and property owners.
Lavallette Preliminary Maps