Storm has Silver Lining for Coastal Community
The waves, wind, rain, and flooding of “superstorm” Sandy brought unprecedented destruction and disruption to Brigantine Beach and other coastal New Jersey communities in late October, 2012. But a few years later, this community of 9,500 people is looking back and seeing the plusses from what was otherwise a very bad experience.
“Our community’s awareness of floodplain management was quadrupled by Hurricane Sandy and the by the Community Rating System immediately after this massive hurricane,” says Ed Stinson, City Manager.
Taking advantage of the fact that the impacts of a coastal storm were right in everyone’s faces, Brigantine, in cooperation with the state and the Federal Emergency Management Agency, launched an active public outreach program about the CRS activities that would reduce future flood losses.
“With the full support of our City Council, we held 15 public outreach meetings attended by 400–500 citizens,” Stinson says.
“Everyone left these meetings aware of the danger of living on our barrier island.” Not only that, but they knew there were things that they could do about it and that—as a bonus—it would help lower their flood insurance premiums.