Eleven homes in flood-prone areas of Cranford have been awarded funding from the Federal Emergency Management Agency to raise the house off the ground to prevent flooding in the future.
The funding is part of a short-term option to control flooding in the area, said Cranford Mayor Daniel Aschenbach.
FEMA, along with the Office of Emergency Management, analyzed homes in Cranford after Hurricane Irene ravaged the town, and chose 50 homes on need-based criteria, including proximity to the river, the amount of damage sustained and the history of damage of the home.
Aschenbach said Cranford officials had no say in choosing which houses would be candidates for aid.
Of the 50 houses, FEMA decided 11 would be able to receive aid to change the structural integrity of the home.
The elevation option was one of two options presented to Cranford for flood relief – the other being a full buy-out of the damaged home from FEMA.
No home qualified for a buy-out, Aschenbach said.
“Right now this is our best option to address the needs of those in the most vulnerable positions if another flood were to occur,“ he said.
Once the funds are awarded, Cranford, along with the homeowner and professional flood mitigation consultants, will work to relocate the families and elevate the homes in a manner agreeable to all those involved to prevent future flood damage, Ashenbach said.
The amount of money FEMA has given has not been decided yet, however homes in the past have received at least $30,000, according to FEMA’s website.
Aschenbach said this is a short-term solution, and the town is working with damage-management organizations to work on long-term ways to control flooding.