The offer to buy back statewide flood-prone properties is among the options that must remain on the table in the wake of the severe damage to Ida, Gov. Phil Murphy said on Wednesday.
“There is no mitigation measure we can put in place that will prevent them from the reality of the intensity and frequency of storms,” Murphy said, highlighting instances where some neighborhoods and communities experience flooding. serious and repeated.
He didn’t mention it by name, but the initiative has been around for over 25 years as the state’s Blue Acres program.
State buyout of properties in flood-prone areas grew strongly after Super Storm Sandy in 2012, with its roots dating back to 1995, through the state’s Department of Environmental Protection. .
As of fall 2019, the Strictly Voluntary Program for Willing Sellers had purchased approximately 1,000 properties – more than 700 of them from Sandy.
The owners of Manville and Newark were among those who opted for takeovers following Sandy.
Both communities were again hit hard by Ida on September 1.
In the aftermath of this month’s catastrophic storm, Peter Kasabach, executive director of New Jersey Future, said overdue infrastructure spending or Blue Acres buyouts of flood-prone homes could help, but that a comprehensive strategy must also include rethinking where it is safe to build.
The purpose of the Blue Acres program is twofold, as stated in 2017 by DEP spokesperson Larry Hajna in New Jersey 101.5.
“It’s about getting people out of harm’s way and giving them a viable option to relocate to a safer area. And second, it provides flood buffers through open space that help protect neighborhoods and communities. “
President Joe Biden travels to Somerset County, New Jersey to visit Ida damage
President Joe Biden visited Somerset County on Tuesday, September 7, 2021 for a meeting with state and county officials in Hillsborough and a visit to storm damage in Manville.