MILLBURN, NJ - A new plan to mitigate Rahway River flooding was put forward at a Mayors Council Rahway River Watershed Flood Control meeting as a starting point for a solution to mitigate flooding.
The meeting was hosted in Millburn and included several of the region’s Mayors to come up with a new plan.
The new plan includes a locally supported storage project at the Orange Reservoir and a more acceptable renovation of the Campbells Mill Pond dam; also included is changing the spillway at Lenape Park and channelization of 1.5 miles in Cranford and home lifting and acquisition in Rahway. A federal plan would be 65% funded by the federal government; 25% by state and 10% locally.
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The conceptual plan will be submitted to Essex and Union County and then to the NJ DEP and the US Army Corps of Engineers for consideration.
Worst case flooding only happens every 5 or more years and in the meantime many forget the danger and damages that storms like Irene caused which amounted to over $100 million of damages. The heavy rains in the past week were a reminder of what is to come and why a plan has to get into place soon.
Since 2012, Mayors and governing boards of the eight directly affected communities and Essex and Union Counties, have been working with federal and state elected officials and with the US Army Corps of Engineers and NJ Department of Environmental Protection to arrive at a workable plan. Eleven alternatives have been studied in depth and for various reasons could not be finalized due to either local concerns or lack of meeting the federal cost-benefit test.
"Our federal elected representatives have been in our corner from the beginning to get a project funded and implemented", said Cranford Mayor Patrick Giblin . Senator Robert Menendez; Senator Cory Booker; Congressman Tom Malinowski; and Congressman Donald Payne have been very supportive.
Mayor Eglow said” We need the US Army Corps of Engineers to approve a plan that is balanced, that protects the natural resources of the South Mountain Reservation and the environment while bringing flood relief to Millburn and downstream. It is imperative that all the stakeholders are included and have full acceptance for a plan to be implemented.”