Faced with more than $100 million dollars in damages after the Mayors of several along the Rahway River sent a joint letter to the governor seeking more than $20 million in state aid for the development of new floodwater storage areas and controls to slow the rapid flow of the river through their towns.
The mayors of , , , Union, Garwood, Winfield Park and Rahway sent the letter Wednesday, two days after the first meeting of the Mayors’ Council on Rahway River Watershed Flood Control in Millburn.
“The early estimates are that Irene caused over $100 million of damage in the communities that the Rahway River flows through,” the letter states. “Our residents are exposed to the extreme weather patterns and inadequate flood control protections. Our residents are concerned this type of damage will happen again sooner than later. We ask your direct consideration of a regional approach that will find solutions to mitigate this problem.”
The letter also states that as a regional planning effort, the towns “need state assistance so that projects can be done that will benefit as many communities as possible,” adding that 150,000 people were impacted adversely by the flooding after Irene.
The mayors suggest that the “lame duck session” in 2011 would be a “perfect place to start to begin to fund the solutions to provide public safety for our citizens,” citing Chapter 163 Dam, Lake, Stream, Flood Control, Water Resources and Wastewater Treatment Project Bond Act of 2003 as a funding source.