National Flood Insurance Program
Community Rating System
The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) requires that if the cost of reconstruction, rehabilitation, addition or other improvements to a building equals or exceeds 50% of the building’s assessed value, the building must meet the same construction requirements as a new building. Substantially damaged buildings must also be borough up to the same standards. If a residence is damaged so that the cost of repairs equals or exceeds 50% of the building’s value (before it was damaged), it must be elevated above the base flood elevation. You may get this elevation from the Construction Office in Borough Hall or call (609) 967-4220
All new construction and renovation projects require local permits. Various state permits also may be require, depending on the type and location of the project. Always check with your local code official, local engineer or land surveyor before purchasing a property in Avalon to determine what special regulations may be in effect relating to your location in the special flood hazard zone. If you observe any apparent illegal construction, please notify the Avalon Code Enforcement Division for their investigation. (609) 967-4220
Drainage System Maintenance
The New Jersey American Water Company maintains the Borough’s drainage system by regular cleaning of the catch basins. In addition, the Borough has ordinances prohibiting the placement of debris in gutters or anything that would block the flow of water and cause flooding in any drainage way. If you observe a catch basin which does not appear to be draining properly,
please report it to NJ American Water 800-652-6987. In order to prevent flooding, caused by the bay backing up through storm drains at high tide, the Borough is pursuing a costly long-term project of installing tide flex backflow values on outfall pipes. The County also is making drainage improvements along Ocean Drive.
Your homeowner’s policy does not cover losses due to flooding. Avalon has participated in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) since its inception. Ninety-two percent of Avalon homeowners participate in NFIP. Flood insurance is available for almost any enclosed building and its contents. Maximum insurance on a one-family dwelling is $250,000, for household contents, $100,000. Non-residential and business properties also are eligible for insurance in various amounts. Flood insurance is mandatory if building is subject to any federally guaranteed financing. Reduced rates are available depending on your lowest floor elevation above mean sea level, plus a variety of deductible amounts. Don’t wait for the next flood to buy insurance protection. There is a 30-day waiting period before National Flood Insurance Program coverage takes effect. Contact your insurance agent for more information on rates and coverage. The Construction Office may have a copy of your Elevation Certificate, call 609-967-4220 for availability.
The Borough’s main goal is planning is to reduce flood damage in repetitive areas.
All of Avalon is in a flood plain zone that is subject to serious flooding conditions from the ocean and bay waters during hurricanes and northeasterly storms. March 6, 1962, Avalon was hit by a serious storm that did considerable damage on the island. In 1993 we had two storms, one in January and one in December, which brought higher flood waters than the ’62 storm. Detailed flood maps, showing base flood elevations of the island, can be obtained in the Construction Office in Borough Hall. You may come in or call 609-967-4220 Monday through Friday and someone will explain base flood elevation for the area in which your house is located.
Since all of Avalon is in the Special Flood Hazard Zone, you should be aware that the question isn’t if we will flood, but when, how often and how deep. The main technique that can be used to floodproof your structure and reduce the potential of future flood damage would be to elevate you house. You may ask an official of the Construction Office to come to your site to review your flooding problem. We will provide one on one advice of the building regulations required to comply with federal flood standards. There is also a list of Borough-licensed contractors who are qualified in this field of construction.
Detailed flood maps, showing local flood hazard areas, can be obtained in the Construction Office at Borough Hall, 3100 Dune Drive, and Avalon Public Library, 251 26th Street. These maps show the major flooding areas and repetitive loss areas.
Storm and flood warnings will be given by the Emergency Management Department for any storms that may cause property damage. A storm warning will be given through Comcast Cable Company Emergency Broadcast System, which will over ride all channels & the Emergency Broadcast Radio Station 1630 am; sirens, located throughout the Borough with PA capacity, will be followed by an emergency announcement; and/or by Borough vehicles with PA systems.
The safety of your family is of the utmost importance. To be well-informed about an approaching storm, keep a battery-powered radio tuned to a local station and follow all emergency instructions. In the event of tidal flooding, if you are instructed to move your vehicles to higher ground or off the island, do so. If you are in a low area, you may want to bring outdoor furniture and other possessions inside. You may also want to elevate your first floor furniture high enough that is not damaged. If evacuation is ordered, do so immediately! DO NO WAIT! If time permits, turn off the main power switch and shut off the main gas valve.
Marlowe & Company, LLC
1667 K Street, NW/Suite 480
Washington, DC 20006