Local Flood Hazard

Flooding can be a health and safety hazard in portions of Lacey Township.Our lagoon communities and neighborhoods near the Barnegat Bay are subject to tidal flooding from hurricanes and winter storms.Storm events passing near our coastline have generated tidal surges that have inundated areas.Remember, since 1979, the minimum first floor elevation for new construction is at 8’ above mean sea level.If your home is located in a Flood Hazard Area and constructed after 1979, or if you raised your home, you may have experienced a lesser impact or no impact from the rising floodwaters.

Flood Safety

  • Do not walk through flowing water.Drowning is the number one cause of flood deaths.Currents can be deceptive; six inches of moving water can knock you off your feet.If you must walk through standing water, use a pole or sick to ensure that the ground around you is solid.After a flood, look before you step, the ground and floors are covered with debris.In addition, mud can be very slippery. 
  • Do not drive through a flooded area.More people drown in their cars than anywhere else. Do not drive around road barriers, the road or bridge may be washed out.
  • Stay away from power and electrical lines.The number two killer after drowning is electrocution.Electrical current can travel through water.Report downed power lines to the Lacey Township Police Department at 609-693-6636 or 911.
  • Have your electricity turned off by the Power Company.Some appliances such as TVs’ keep electrical charges even after they have been unplugged.Do not use appliances or motors that have gotten wet unless they have been taken apart, cleaned and dried. 
  • Look out for animals, such as snakes.Small animals that have been flooded out of their homes may seek shelter in your home.Use a pole or stick to poke and turn things over to scare away small animals.  
  • Be alert for gas leaks.Do not smoke or use candles, lanterns or open flames unless you know the gas has been turned off in your house and the area has been ventilated.
  • Inspect your property now and evaluate what objects, such as small barbecue propane gas tanks & trash cans.Patio furniture may become buoyant and possibly float away.Water or wind could propel a picnic table through a neighbor’s window.
  • When notified to evacuate, do not hesitate to do so immediately.The Lacey Township Office of Emergency Management monitors storm events very closely and only orders the evacuation notice when it is in your best interest to move to higher ground or an evacuation shelter.
  • Look for the brochures in Town Hall that range in topics from hurricane awareness to disaster preparedness.There are additional brochures that offer tips for planning and preparation that can be taken now, in advance of an emergency.
  • If you need help during an evacuation, need transportation or have special needs, you can register with the Lacey Township Office of Emergency Management at 609-693-6636.Names and addresses are kept confidential.Don’t wait until a storm event happens if you feel you may need assistance!Help us plan to help you by notifying the Office of Emergency Management today!

Flood Insurance

Your Homeowners Insurance does not cover damage caused by floods.You do not have to be located in a designated flood hazard zone to be eligible to purchase flood insurance.

Only half of the properties located in our special flood hazard zone are protected with flood insurance.The balance of our neighbors will not receive insurance compensation in the case of flood related damage.Flood insurance is required by all lending institutions before providing you with money to purchase, renovate or refinance a home in the flood zone.A limited amount of coverage is available to cover the contents of your home, such as carpeting, appliances and furniture.Please contact our local insurance agents concerning coverage, rates, deductibles and exclusions. Filing a claim does not change your rate since rates are set on a national basis.

Property Protection Measures

There are several ways to protect your home from flood: 1) elevate your structure above the Base Flood Elevation (BFE); 2) make your walls waterproof and place watertight closures over your doorways and windows. This technique is known as retrofitting or flood proofing.The Lacey Township branch of the Ocean County Library has books and literature available on these issues in their reference section.

Any building alterations will require a construction permit from the Lacey Township Building Inspection Office.Our Construction Official will meet with any individual or property owner, by appointment, to provide advice and assistance on building modifications that will help prevent flood damage.You may call Frank Crandall our Construction Official, at (609) 693-1100, ext. 2252 during regular business hours to make an appointment.

There are also no-cost measures you can take to prevent a loss from rising flood waters.Consider moving furniture, electronic equipment, or important papers to a higher spot within your house.Tops of cabinets or attic spaces can be used as temporary storage space.

Natural Floodplain Functions

The floodplain or flood hazard area is an area that is inundated by floodwaters of a stream, river or by tidal waters of the Barnegat Bay or the Atlantic Ocean.The natural function of a floodplain is to store the floodwaters or storm tide, on a temporary basis, until the water recedes to its usual stream channels and normal coastal tide elevations.In river systems, the floodwaters inundate the floodplain area along the defined channel, replenishing soil moisture and depositing fertile silt from the river channel.Along the coastal areas in Lacey Township, tidal wetlands provide a temporary reservoir for floodwaters due to storm tides, which are higher than normal tides.The floodplains also protect our community against storm-related erosion by wave action or scour and battering by debris.

Flood Warning System

In case of an emergency, you should listen to the available Emergency Broadcast System. In addition to the Comcast Cable System on TV, Channels 8 & 39, you can also tune your radio to:

  • WOBMAM – 1160WJLKAM - 1310
  • WYRSFM -90.7WJLKFM -94.3WOBMFM -92.7WAYVFM -95.1
  • NJFM -97.3WQNJFM -98.5
  • WJRZFM -100.1 NJFM -101.5

When a WATCH is issued, conditions are a real possibility and may threaten our community within 36 hours

When a WARNING is issued, the storm event is expected to hit the area within 24 hours.

In the event of an emergency, Police, Fire and First Aid personnel will perform "route" alerting.Alerting will be by mobile public address systems and door-to-door operations. When told to evacuate, do so without hesitation.The longer you wait to leave, the more likely you are to be in a heightened evacuation traffic grid-lock on Route 9 and Lacey Road, the only westbound evacuation route.

Development Permit Requirements

Chapter 185 of the Lacey Township Codes has very specific criteria for development in our Flood Zone.With the recognition of additional flood prone areas in the Township, new regulations regarding development in the floodplain have been in effect since February, 1991. A development application for a zoning permit in a Special Flood Hazard Zone requires:1) the elevation in relation to mean sea level, of the lowest floor, including basement ("A" Zone) or lowest structural member ("V" Zone) of all structures on the property; 2) the elevation in relation to mean sea level to which any structure has been flood-proofed; 3) certification by a registered professional engineer or architect that the flood-proofing of non-residential structures meets additional defined criteria.Finished grade elevations at the lot corners and elevation of the first floor elevation or lowest structural member must be certified by a registered architect or engineer.A registered architect or engineer must also provide certification of the design of anyconstruction below the Base Flood Elevation.Before you start any construction work, check with the Community Development Office to verify your location in the Special Flood Hazard Zone and verify your Base Flood Elevation.Then review the design criteria in Chapter 185 of the Codes of Lacey Township.

Substantial Improvement Requirements

A substantial improvement is any reconstruction, rehabilitation or other improvement of a structure that exceeds fifty (50%) of the market value of the structure before the start of construction of the improvement.This term includes structures, which have incurred substantial damage, regardless of the actual work being performed. All substantial improvements must meet the criteria listed in Chapter 185 of the Lacey Township Codes.

Drainage System Maintenance

Lacey Townships’ drainage systems consist of natural and man-made watercourses and storage basins that must be maintained in order to prevent flood damage from smaller, more frequent storm events.Drainage systems also are found in streets, roadside ditches, underground recharge systems as well as open channels and detention and retention basins.

The Lacey Township Public Works Department inspects our storm water drainage systems on a semi-annual basis.Our maintenance program includes inlet cleaning, pipe cleaning, drainage basin maintenance and street sweeping.To report improper activity such as dumping in our lakes, lagoons and drainage basins, please call the Department of Public Works at 609-693-1100, ext 2301 or our Code Enforcement Officer at 609-693-1100, ext 2249.If this occurs after normal business hours, please report the incident immediately to the police at 609-693-6636.

Local Flood Hazard Map

The Flood Insurance Rate Maps & Flood Insurance Study are available for review at the Community Development Office at 124 South Main Street in Forked River. A new Flood Insurance Rate Study & accompanying maps were prepared by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and became effective May 21, 2001. The Base Flood Elevations range from eight (8) feet above mean sea level to twelve (12) feet above mean sea level, depending on your location in the Township. We will provide you with a written map determination for your property upon request. You may contact Christine Repetti at (609) 693-1100, ext. 2254 for your specific request, or if you have any questions.

Visit the Federal Emergency Management Agency WEB site at: www.FEMA.gov