WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senators Bob Menendez and Cory Booker announced $3,767,877.00 in federal funding from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to support a flood mitigation and resiliency project in Wayne.
“As more severe storms hit our region, we must take proactive steps to ensure our communities and infrastructure are stronger and better prepared for when the next disaster strikes,” said Senator Menendez. “Voluntary buyouts is just one part of a broad mitigation strategy that saves lives, protects homes and safeguards entire communities in New Jersey.”
“Unfortunately, too many New Jersey communities are vulnerable to repeated flooding, and we must focus on protecting these communities from the devastation of heavy rainfall and extreme weather,” said Senator Booker. “This federal investment is critical to addressing the dangers of flood hazards and Wayne will be better prepared because of it.”
“Once again we are extremely grateful that the Federal Government has decided to award Wayne Township an additional $3,767,877.00 in flood buyout money,” said Wayne Mayor Chris Vergano. “These funds will be used to purchase severely impacted flood prone homes as defined by FEMA. We appreciate the efforts of Senator Booker and Senator Menendez in assisting Wayne with this application.”
The funding will be used to acquire and demolish flood-prone homes in Wayne. The senators previously announced a total of nearly $13 million to buyout forty-eight homes in the township earlier this year.
Mayor Vergano added: “This additional money will bring the total funded dollars for authorized buyouts to $99,029,649.80 during the past twelve years of my administration. We strongly believe that the buyouts are the best way to get people out of harm’s way. After the homes are purchased, they are demolished, and the property returns to its natural state.”
Earlier this year, Sen. Menendez introduced the National Flood Insurance Program Reauthorization and Reform (NFIP Re) Act of 2019, which tackles systemic problems with flood insurance, puts it back on solid fiscal ground, and reframes the nation’s entire disaster paradigm to one that focuses more on prevention and mitigation to spare the high cost of rebuilding after flood disasters.