By Beth Kujan
We in Greater Morristown are fortunate. Unlike the Houston archipelago, deluged by Hurricane Harvey, or Florida, at risk from Hurricane Irma, we have a varied topology.
Only certain areas are highly susceptible to flooding, and they are sparsely populated. The map below is from Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA):
The purple area (very high flood risk) is around the airport and wetlands area on either side of Columbia Turnpike (510).
The Whippany River as it runs through Morristown/Township is responsible for the red (high flood risk) areas. The river flooded parts of Morristown’s Second Ward during Tropical Storm Irene in 2011.
Speedwell Lake and Burnham Pond are the two appendages of the Town boundary into the Township.
The Whippany River feeding into Speedwell Lake menaces some properties, but past Inamere Road the area is Lewis Morris parkland. Similarly, Burnham Pond is contiguous with Fosterfields and from there, Lewis Morris Park.
Presumably, the at-risk facilities are at the water treatment plant next to Loantaka Brook Reservation.
Sen. Robert Menendez was a co-sponsor of a 2014 law, the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), which limits the amount of money by which FEMA can increase flood insurance rates each year. That law expires on Sept. 30, 2017.
FEMA disclaimer: Flood Risk Products have purposes that are different from regulatory flood hazard products (i.e., FIRM, FIS Report, and FIRM Database). Regulatory flood hazard products are mandated by law and used by the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) for rating flood insurance policies and enforcing the federal mandatory insurance purchase requirements. Flood Risk Products are supplementary resources for communicating flood risk to communities and may not entirely align with the regulatory flood maps. The information in these products reflect what was produced by the FEMA Risk MAP study in that area. Depending on the requirements of the study, the Flood Risk Products available for your community may consist of a Flood Risk Map, Flood Risk Report or Flood Risk Database.
Beth Kujan has been a Morris Township resident for more than 20 years.