What is floodplain management and why is it important?
Floodplain management is a set of best practices, rules and regulations implemented to reduce the risk of current and future flooding. The ultimate goal of any floodplain management program is to protect people, property, and infrastructure and to reduce the economic impacts of flood events. It can be said that flood resiliency is economic resiliency.
The Township of Cranford is bisected by the Rahway River and its associated tributaries. Naturally, during times of heavy rainfall, the river swells and can overflow its banks. Severe storms, such as Hurricane Irene in 2011, have led to serious flooding in the Township. Due to our exposure to this natural hazard, the Township has taken an aggressive approach to regulating land use and development. It is our hope that the restrictions, regulations, and our public education efforts will ultimately mitigate potential future risks and the impact of the next flood.
What is the Township doing to protect us from the next flood?
Our efforts include the creation of the Cranford Flood Advisory Committee (CFAC) back in 1997, providing general information and educational materials, consultation on flood related issues, and coordinated efforts between the Office of Planning & Zoning, the Building Department, and the Township Engineer. This includes close review of all development applications and site improvements in the floodplain to ensure that any and all work that is completed in the at-risk areas are completed responsibly and above the minimum required standards.
The Township also participates in FEMA's Community Rating System (CRS). The CRS is a program that provides incentives to communities to effectively and responsibly manage their floodplain. Our participation in the CRS program affords property owners who currently hold a flood insurance policy through the National Flood Insurance Program a 15% discount on their premiums.
Lastly, the Township currently employs two Certified Floodplain Managers. The Township's Zoning Officer holds CFM credentials along with its consulting engineer. These professionals work closely to ensure that all development and improvements in the floodplain meet the strict standards established by the Township, the State, and the federal government.
Updated April 13, 2020