FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Thursday, July 10, 2014

Christie Administration Announces Post-Sandy Planning Grant to South River

Grant Will Help Sandy-Impacted Local Government with
Long-Term Recovery and Resiliency Planning

Trenton, NJ – New Jersey Department of Community Affairs (DCA) Commissioner Richard E. Constable, III today announced the award of $70,000 in Post-Sandy Planning Assistance Grants to South River, Middlesex County, to put into effect comprehensive long-range plans designed to enable the Borough to become resilient in the event of future significant weather events.

These grants are the second Post-Sandy Planning Assistance funds that South River received. The Borough was awarded its first planning grant in October 2013, and used the $10,000 grant to complete a Strategic Recovery Planning Report, which serves as the Borough’s comprehensive guide for two recovery and resiliency projects funded by the second grant.


“We applaud South River for being proactive in planning for the long-term and developing ways to make their community better able to withstand potential future natural disasters,” said Commissioner Constable, whose Department is administering many of the Sandy Recovery programs for the State. “By taking full advantage of the Post-Sandy Planning Assistance Grant Program, the Borough has demonstrated its commitment to finding solutions to the very specific challenges they are facing.”

When Superstorm Sandy hit, tidal flooding combined with water from the storm surge overflowed the banks of the South River and poured into several neighborhoods along the eastern side of the Borough. Flooding was severe on Reid Street and Washington Street, and most homes east of Water Street took on several feet of water on the ground floor, according to the Borough’s Strategic Recovery Planning Report. During the storm, several multi-family apartment buildings were evacuated, dozens of businesses were submerged under several feet of water, and emergency services evacuated residents from single family homes with personal vehicles, boats and rescue squad wave-runner watercraft.

The Borough Tax Assessor’s office has calculated the storm caused major property damage, resulting in a loss of approximately $3.9 million dollars of total assessed value. A majority of the flood damage was concentrated in areas on the Borough’s eastern floodplain in the neighborhoods of Water, Lee, Elizabeth, Russell, and Martin Streets.


The two planning projects identified in the Strategic Recovery Planning Report that will be funded by the second grant will help South River:

  • Prepare an electronic mapping system that will provide a comprehensive profile of each property that experienced flood damage and their locations including their status in the Blue Acres Program, which provides funding for the purchase of properties located in areas that have experienced repetitive losses due to flooding.
  • Prepare an analysis of the fiscal impact on the local economy and government finances of the acquisition and conversion of properties in flood hazard zones into open space.


The Post-Sandy Planning Assistance Grants are funded through Community Development Block Grant Disaster Recovery monies provided by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). The $5 million program is available to each of the nine counties most impacted by Sandy as determined by HUD (Atlantic, Bergen, Cape May, Essex, Hudson, Middlesex, Monmouth, Ocean and Union) and all of the municipalities within those counties that have experienced a ratable loss of at least 1% or $1 million due to the storm.

Applications for grants are still being accepted on a first-come, first-serve basis by the DCA’s Office of Local Planning Services, which is administering the program, until all funds are exhausted.

For more information on Post-Sandy Planning Assistance Grants, go to