Floodplain Management

Special Flood Hazard Areas (SFHA)

In Montclair, there are multiple areas of Special Flood Hazard (SFHA) associated with various waterways; most frequently Toney’s and Nishuane Brooks. These areas are shown on Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRM) produced by FEMA, which are available on their website and at the Montclair Engineering Bureau. There are three flood zones into which properties in Montclair may fall: Zone A (100-year flood zone with base flood elevation undetermined); Zone AE (100-year flood zone with base flood elevation determined) and Zone X (500-year flood zone). 810 or 7.5% of the approximately 11,000 tax parcels in Montclair are within one or more flood zones (described above).

Most of these flood zone properties are associated with flood plains resulting from undersized road culverts or encroachments into a natural floodway. These systems accommodated conditions that existed fifty years or more ago, but the cumulative effect of continued development has been a steady increase in peak stream flows and localized street flooding during major storms. These conditions have also contributed to stream bank and outfall erosion where the storm sewer outlets to these waterways.

Flood plains in Montclair Township include those associated with: Toneys Brook, Nishuane Brook, Crescent Brook, Yantacaw Brook, 3rd River (aka Pearl Brook) and Wigwam Brook.

What is Montclair Doing?

The Township has made limited progress addressing localized flooding problems by improving road profiles and improving storm drainage when constructing street improvements. Previous street improvement projects have included drainage upgrades in the Erwin Park neighborhood and in the Brookfield section, both of which previously experienced regular flooding during moderate storm events.

What can you do?

FEMA also encourages property owners to purchase flood insurance to prevent the severe financial losses associated with flood damage. Montclair participates in the National Flood Insurance Program, making all residents eligible to purchase flood insurance. Montclair does not participate in the Community Rating System due to the relatively small financial benefit to flood zone properties vs. the relatively high cost of participation (remediation of repetitive loss properties and additional tracking/reporting of activities).

According to floodsmart.gov (FEMA's flood information website), over 20-percent of all National Flood Insurance Program flood insurance claims are filed by people outside of mapped high-risk flood areas and these properties receive one-third of Federal Disaster Assistance for flooding. When it's available (Federally declared disaster area), disaster assistance is typically a loan you must repay with interest. For these individuals, a Preferred Risk flood insurance policy will provide building and/or contents coverage for properties in moderate- to low-risk areas for one low-price.

External Links

National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP)