Legislation Assemblymen John S. Wisniewski and Craig J. Coughlin (both D-Middlesex) sponsored to help combat the flooding of the South River in Sayreville has been approved by the full Assembly by a vote of 42-30-3.
The bill (A-3138) would provide $1.4 million to the state Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) to initiate and support flood control and prevention projects to mitigate the periodic flooding of the South River in Sayreville, which often floods its banks after heavy rains and severe storms.
A portion of the funding – $1.047 million – would be drawn from the “Dam, Lake, Stream, Flood Control, Water Resources, and Wastewater Treatment Project Bond Act of 2003;” the remainder – $353,000 – would be drawn from the “Emergency Flood Control Bond Act” of 1978.
“As residents of Sayreville know all too well, floodwaters have a devastating and long-lasting effect on safety, quality of life and property,” said Wisniewski. “This legislation would help fund temporary remediation that would keep floodwaters at bay until the federal government and the Army Corps of Engineers can enact a permanent flood prevention solution.”
“This flooding has caused considerable property damage in the community and repeated hardship and constant anxiety for those living and working in the river’s flood hazard area,” said Coughlin. “Given the continuing threat of serious flooding from the South River, the funding provided by this bill would facilitate and expedite the effort needed to address this problem.”
The South River is the geographic border separating the municipalities of Sayreville and South River in Middlesex County. Since the mid-1990’s floodwaters following heavy rains and nor’easters have caused considerable flooding along the Sayreville side of the river, causing significant and repeated property damage for those residents living in the river’s flood plain.
The Army Corps of Engineers is in the process of completing a study of the area and is formulating how best to design a long-term flood remediation program. In the meantime, the residents of Sayreville continue to battle floodwaters after heavy rains.
“Sayreville residents can’t wait another 10 or 15 years for a permanent flood solution,” Wisniewski said.
“The residents of Sayreville need flood protection now and the funding provided by this bill would give them just that,” Coughlin said.
An identical bill, sponsored by district-mate Senator Joseph Vitale, awaits consideration in the Senate.