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Gov. Christie: Initial Flood Maps Are 'Too Aggressive'

Governor provides update on rebuilding, with focus on flood maps and Blue Acres buyout, and plenty of anecdotes

The initial FEMA flood which could create thousands more in insurance premiums and have residents raising their houses feet off the ground, are "too aggressive," said Gov. Christie at a town hall meeting today.

He addressed a packed crowd of officials and residents in the Hurricane Sandy damaged town of Manasquan. Christie returned to the complicated and controversial topic of what would happen with flood maps and how to rebuild the Jersey Shore.

"This initial map has been too aggressive," said Christie, referring to areas of land and the suggested heights property in those zones would be raised.

Christie's town hall event filled Manasquan High School, as the governor pushed for the adoption of "fair" base flood elevation maps in place of those adopted this winter.

As many towns and freeholders contest FEMA's current the governor opened today's town hall with comments on the push to create a safer New Jersey, one where waterfront communities wouldn't face catastrophic damage like that seen after Hurricane Sandy.

"We'll have a continued fight to get the fairest flood maps in place," Christie said.

But balancing that with maps that make sense is a priority, Christie told a receptive crowd, a crowd that laughed at his personal anecdotes and applauded his comments of resolve.

After an opening speech focusing on Hurricane Sandy rebuilding in the long term, and some shared anecdotes about his mother-in-law, Gov. Christie begins to take audience questions at the town hall today in Manasquan.

Those audience questions were dominated by personal issues locals faced in trying to navigate post-Hurricane Sandy life. Residents from Bayville, Mantoloking, Brielle, and Manasquan asked "What do I do?" and shared their specific issues, looking to the governor for help.

In many cases, he answered with the specific names of cabinet members and departments that could help — the Department of Banking and Insurance, or the governor's Office of Constituent Services, for example.

For other answers, the governor gave his stance on the importance of dunes, and having them in place regardless of the "view."

Along the shore in places such as Long Beach Island and barrier island Toms River, some homeowners are disputing easements to build dunes.

"I’m not taking the property, but I’m not going to react kindly to people who complain about losing their view," he said of the dune easement issue. "We give up some of our own freedoms to make things better for society, I don’t think views of the ocean should be constitutionally excluded from that."

The governor closed with emphasis that the Jersey Shore will be open for summer 2013, maybe not just as it was, but with a show of heart.

"For many places in our state it will never be the same, but it could be better than before," he said.

George Gilmore March 22, 2013 at 04:43 AM
Lets hear it for Mayor Amato & his worthless township attorney Republican county chairman George Gilmore for approving this agressive flood map. Hey the money all goes into the same kiddie for the good old boys, so why wouldn't Amato get approval from boss HOG. In case you didn't know Amato approved Ashbritt that paid Gilmore as a consultant. People go to jail for similar pay offs?
varano fan March 22, 2013 at 04:48 AM
I agree with prior comments the Ashbritt scandal is influence peddling. How can it not be Gilmore bought Amato's election, and was his boss at board of elections? Even worse he got paid back with township attorney! FEDS come to OC please!
foggyworld March 22, 2013 at 11:28 AM
Given the No-Care attitude shown by the politicians in this Town, there ought to be a way where we the people could sign a petition explaining our plight to both FEMA and the Governor.
Sue March 22, 2013 at 02:41 PM
There is! Come to the info session and anti-FEMA protest rally SUNDAY, March 24th, 12 noon to 2 PM, Brick Municipal Building, 401 Chambersbridge Rd. All towns' property owners are welcome. 200+ people were at a similar meeting in Toms River, including many from our town. Our grassroots movement is growing. "We're mad and we're not going to take it any more." Get the facts at StopFemaNow.com and Facebook.com/StopFemaNow (Please "like" what you read.) Save our Shore homes and communities!

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