The Mayors Council Rahway River Watershed Flood Control will be meeting at the Cranford Municipal Building on Wednesday to update residents on the progress of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers evaluation of flood mitigation projects including the development of the South Mountain Regional Detention Basin.
"Most New Jerseyans hearts go out to residents of the shore and the state and federal government have to be strong partners in rebuilding," said Dan Aschenbach, former Cranford mayor.
"We do have to remind the Governor and State Legislature, however, that we are not minced meat and should not be forgotten with regards to the funding needs to move ahead with flood control," he said.
Many homes and businesses after Irene in the Rahway River Watershed had significant impacts. In Cranford alone over 1600 homes were damaged and in Rahway many homeowners had numerous repetitive losses.
While the federal and state governments have helped to get lives back in order in the watershed area , the prediction of 9 inches of rain prior to Superstorm Sandy sent residents into a panic.
The Mayors of 11 communities have been working to implement projects to reduce water elevations during peak storm conditions through several projects the US Army Corps of Engineers is evaluating, according to Aschenbach.
The South Mountain Regional Detention Basin is a high priority which would be located near Campbell Mill Pond in Essex County’s South Mountain Reservation. It would lower water elevations of the Rahway River during peak storm conditions by almost three feet in Millburn, Union and Springfield, and by about 1.5 feet in Cranford and also benefit the City of Rahway. The project has also been cited as being beneficial to flood storage projects being considered for Lenape Park in Kenilworth.
A funding request to the Governor and State Legislature was made in late June to conduct the environmental assessments so Essex County, the City of Orange and the state Dept. of Environmental Protection can be assured about any impacts.
The Mayors Council has invited the Governor and State Legislative leaders to Cranford to get updated on the projects, so movement from evaluation to construction can get done.
The meeting will take place at the Cranford Municipal Building on December 13 at 7:30p.m. Parking for the event will be across the street from the municipal building