Category Archives: storm

(Rusty) signs of Sandy

rusty signsHomes aren’t the only thing that were affected by Sandy. Some of the [street] signs that were submerged are showing the after-effects of Sandy as well.

So add this to the to-do list of Sandy clean up:

Make a list of submerged street signs that either need to come down or replaced.

Thanksgiving in Highlands = Nor’easter

surfing turkeyMeteorologists are tracking a potential nor’easter that could result in rain or snow falling in New Jersey this Wednesday, the day before Thanksgiving.

The track of the storm is still up in the air, but the possibility for a heavy rain or a snow event is likely, forecasters say. The National Weather Service activated its Hazardous Weather Outlook on Saturday, warning of a coastal storm that could produce either snow or rain changing to snow the day before Thanksgiving, impacting holiday travel.

Does this sound familiar? Maybe because the same forecast was predicted for the last 2 years.

In 2012 – Thanksgiving Nor’Easter expected in Highlands

and again in 2013 – “What the Thanksgiving Nor’Easter means to Highlands

Town Hall Meeting notes from 9/15

NJ Future logoMonday night’s town hall meeting, wasn’t necessarily a “town hall meeting” like past meetings have been conducted. Steve Nelson from NJ Future presented a summary of the SRPR (Strategic Recovery Planning Report).  – If you hear people speak about the SRPR you now know what it stands for.

The SRPR was worked on by Steve Nelson (who also handles the SRPR in Sea Bright as well as Highlands) and a Steering Committee in Highlands made up of Art Gallagher, Larry Colby, Mayor Nolan, Tim Hill and Kevin Redmond.  I don’t know how they were chosen to make up the steering committee, I would personally put someone else on just to have a different perspective, but that’s just me.)

The council is going to go through the report in its entirety and then vote on adopting the report as a road map to move the town forward (R-14-199) in Wednesday’s Night Council Meeting.

Chapter 1 of the report – goes over the demographics of Highlands (Although admittedly they used pre-sandy demographics).

Chapter 2 of the report – goes over the impact assessment of what Sandy did to Highlands.

Chapter 3 of the report – goes over future risk assessment

  • Future Hazards
  • Risks
  • Potential Impacts/exposure of Sea Level Rising
  • Cohesion of the community
  • Governmental Services

Chapter 4 of the report covers Getting Resilient

  • Communication and outreach

In this chapter they looked at the current Master plan, current zoning, the Planning Documents from Rutgers studio and the recommended FEMA plan

Chapter 5 Assessment of Existing Planning and Zoning Documents (such as)

  • Clam Plant Zoning
  • Bayshore Region Strategic Plan (from before Sandy)
  • Masterplan from 2004 and the re-examination of MP in 2008
  • Monmouth County Haz Mitigation plan (2009)
  • Current Zoning Ordinance for Highlands Recovery Strategy

Chapter 6 Recommendations (not in order of priority)

  • Storm water piping from Rt 36
  • Property maintenance and code compliance
  • Steep Slope mitigation
  • Municipal Facilities Plan (i.e. where to put Town Hall/PD)
  • Obtain NFIP compliance & apply for CRS certification
  • Sewer upgrades (I&I)
  • Pump Station Repairs, install “new” catch basins, pipes etc
  • Economic viability of Clamming Study
  • Determine the need of redevelopment and where it should be
  • Update Boro Haz Mitigation Plan
  • Update municipal codes, plans and strategies to handle future flooding risks, hazards and vulnerabilities
  • Update the latest version of the FEMA’s flood maps using “best available flood hazard data or most stringent version”

Chapter 7 includes the Who, What, When and dollar amount to achieve the recommendations.

To view presentation from town hall CLICK HERE

To view NJ Future’s Report CLICK HERE

Two River Times Highlights Borough Trailers

borough trailerThis week The Two River Times did an article on Highlands again. Specifically on how Highlands Borough and PD is still being run out of Trailers.

“We’re not closing the door on any options” said Borough Administrator Tim Hill, who hopes to have a more definitive direction by next month.”

Options they are considering include:

  • Demolishing and rebuilding 171 Bay Ave
  • Repairing and refurbishing 171 Bay Ave
  • Seeking another location entirely

Gee nothing has changed since the storm.

“The council hasn’t spoken publicly about which option it prefers at this point,”

I think I remember they had a meeting at Ptak where they spoke about options and them leaning towards building a brandy new facility.  Anybody else? I did a follow up post about it.

To read the full TRT article click here


Sandy damage and insurance query

flood insuranceNJ Senator Menendez has been investigating aspects of Sandy survivors’ insurance experiences – specifically with NFIP (Nat’l Flood Insurance) claims.

The Senator’s staff is looking to speak with any New Jersey residents (or case managers) who’ve tried appealing their flood claim payout.
Please contact:
Amy Bach, Esq., Executive Director
United Policyholders
381 Bush St., 8th Fl.
San Francisco, CA 94104
Tel.  415-393-9990Fax: 415-677-4170, Website:

United Policyholders (“UP”) is a non-profit information resource and a voice for insurance consumers in all 50 states.  We give you the straight scoop on insurance matters. We don’t accept financial support from insurance companies.  We don’t give legal advice or endorse or warrant any of our sponsors.  Check them out on  Facebook

Highlands To Get Grants to Demolish Unsafe Housing

Highlands is one of 6 towns in Monmouth county that have been accepted into a state program to demolish unwanted, unsightly and unsafe housing, according to the NJ DCA.

Highlands has historically had its share of abandoned homes. Hurricane Sandy has compounded the problem.  The issue since Sandy of the down spiraling of property values, rodents, critters, high grass and criminal activity isn’t specific to Highlands but has proven to be problematic all over the bay shore.

Earlier this year, Gov. Chris Christie’s administration made $15 million in federal money available to cover the costs of razing Sandy-damaged buildings through the Unsafe Structure Demolition Program.

This is actually progress. Hopefully the initiative will begin sooner than later, as to alleviate the emotional impact of residents who have to view the abandoned homes day after day.  When properties remain untouched still after Sandy, it gives a feeling of hopelessness to its neighbors who do live there, it’s just a feeling of, “are we ever going to get out of this?”


FREE House Lifting Seminars in Highlands This Month

When & Where:

Tuesday, June 10th 7:00 PMexpert lifters

**Off The Hook**

1 Navesink Ave, Highlands, NJ (732) 872-2006


Tuesday, June 24th at 7:00 PM

**Bahr’s Landing**

2 Bay Ave, Highlands, NJ (732) 872-1245


Topics include:

  • Survey and Engineering requirements
  • Recent flood insurance issues
  • Grants and FEMA programs
  • Masonry and pilings construction
  • The steps in lifting your home
  • Modular Homes




Food and Beverages will be served at both events

Highlands are you ready for your $34k Insurance Bill?

IMG_1068[1]Sea Drift resident Claudette D’arrigo opened her NJ Manufacturer Flood Bill last month and was a little shocked. It was $34,526.

First thought, Is this a typo?

Second thought, I’m over 15 ft in the air…

Third thought, this can’t be correct.. THIS can’t be correct… THIS – CAN’T- BE- RIGHT..

After multiple calls between the insurance company, FEMA and her mortgage company.. it was right. Not right in the sense of logical but right in the sense that they meant to send her that bill.

She is now in discussions with Senator Menedez and there is a piece on Monday June 9 at 10pm on My9NJ Chasing NJ about how you do everything you’re suppose to do, lift above the recommended height for those extra insurance breaks and you still could get a HUGE insurance bill. IMG_1069[1]

Here is the letter stating that her Sea Drift home is in a V-zone and the $34,526 premium is correct.

Insurance Companies Holding Local Municipalities Responsible for failing to prepare for flooding

Good Night Irene 013 - Copy According to May’s Christian Monitor,

“Farmers Insurance filed class action lawsuit last month against nearly 200 communities in the Chicago area for failing to prepare for flooding. The suits argue towns should have known climate change would produce more flooding.”

The premise being that insurance companies want to push cities to invest in prevention as a way to avoid future lawsuits and ultimately future payouts to policy holders.

What do you think ?

TBT: How’s the Council Doing NOW?

A year ago I did a poll on how residents thought the Council was doing with Sandy Recovery, I wanted to do a re-poll and see how you’re thoughts have changed?

2013 poll

Poll Results April 2013


Nor’Easter in Highlands on Tuesday

rogue waveWarning, Warning..According to Stewart  Farrell, director of the Coastal Research Center at Richard Stockton College of New Jersey,  a nor’easter like the December 1992 storm could cause “breakthroughs” along the Jersey Shore.

The weather service forecast for Neptune on Friday called for a chance of rain, snow and heavy surf on Tuesday, with rain and snow likely on Tuesday night and a chance of snow on Wednesday.

The post-winter storm could add another frozen white layer on top of one of New Jersey’s snowiest seasons in 120 years. It also could cause coastal flooding and pound beaches pummeled by Sandy in October 2012.


FREE Webinar to Assist with Sandy Settlement Claims

united policy holdersResidents impacted by Hurricane Sandy whose homes were insured by the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) are facing a late April 2014 deadline to submit all proof of loss documents and comply with NFIP claim requirements. Homeowners who have not appealed or filed additional forms and proof of damages by this deadline will lose the right to challenge their NFIP settlement.  The Hurricane Sandy New Jersey Relief Fund has partnered with United Policyholders, a non-profit insurance consumer organization, to host a webinar open to Relief Fund grantees, partners and New Jersey homeowners that will provide guidance on preparing these necessary documents.   The webinar will be held on Wednesday, March 26, 2014 at 12:30pm ET and will walk participants through the NFIP claim and appeal rules, and best practices for documenting and filing losses. To participate in the webinar register at:

WHO SHOULD ATTEND: Homeowners, Case Managers, Non-profits active in Sandy Recovery &
Long Term Recovery Groups.

Please help them spread the word about the approaching deadline and this available resource to the families, individuals and communities you serve by posting it on your Facebook or Twitter, sending an email to your contacts, or alerting residents via flyers or word of mouth.  All Sandy impacted residents and organizations active in recovery efforts are welcome to logon and learn.

Live in Highlands & Need A Room Make Over?

roominourhearsRoom In Our Hearts Offers Home Decoration Services To Sandy Affected.

Room in Our Hearts is a non profit organization dedicated to helping families whose homes have been affected by crisis. Their Mission is to re-decorate one room in these households and work with those affected to bring it from conception to completion at no cost.

Room request of each recipient are achieved by partnering with volunteers who are redecorators, artists and craftspeople who passionately work to create an individual space that brings back a sense of normalcy and rediscovery

The end result is a new space that send a message of hope to those rebuilding. Room in Our Hearts accomplishes this by using recycled, repurposed, and refashioned pieces of furniture and home decor along with new pieces as needed.

For more information on Room in Our Hearts call 732-620-4944 or  click here  to visit their website.

Army Corp Meeting Wed March 12

acoe Where: Highlands Elementary school, 7pm

Public is invited,

Area to be discussed for possible Flood mitigation ideas: old trailer park west of town to Snug Harbor

Note: There will be multiple meetings, as they are breaking apart in multiple areas. Mitigation tactics applicable in one area may not be applicable in another. Wednesday Nights meeting is for Project Area / Unit 2.

Areas are broken out as follows;

For info purposes, these were the Unit Areas as proposed by the USACE for planning purposes. When meetings are scheduled, some areas may be combined based on the uniqueness or challenges within the area.

Unit 1 – Paradise Park and Adjacent Property

Unit 2- Willow to Snug Harbor

Unit 3- Snug Harbor to Seadrift

Unit 4- Seadrift to Cedar

Unit 5- Cedar to Miller St

Unit 6 – Miller Street to South Street (Shrewsbury Ave properties)

Unit 7 – South Street to Bridge

Superstorm Sandy Survivors Focus Group


Superstorm Sandy Survivors

Focus Group

They are looking to assess the unmet needs of Sandy Survivors

Saturday, March 15, 2014

10:00 – 12:00

Atlantic Highlands Fireman’s Field House

48 Avenue C

Atlantic Highlands, NJ 07716

Come and Let Your Voice be Heard!!!!


Sponsored by the Monmouth County Health Department under a Social Services Block Grant from the New Jersey Department of Health Office of Local Public Health.

What’s Going on With Miller & Bay?

You might remember in November when 148 Bay Ave burned down, something else happened within the last week that is interesting, the apartments behind Andy’s Shore Bar between Miller and North Street were torn down.miller and bay

That leaves a lot of open space around Andy’s Shore Bar. Does that mean this St Pattys day parade is the last time you can go into Andy’s Shore Bar?

Only time will tell.

Highlands Awarded 1.5 million

bay aveHighlands was one of four towns that was awarded monies to assist with the recovery of their downtown areas after Sandy.

The grants are for replacement of old and cracked sidewalks and curbs, installation of pedestrian-scale street lights, bike racks, benches and trash receptacles to support the community.

Snow & Ice expected in Highlands – AGAIN

The National Weather Service is predicting a “major nor’easter” could develop off the Atlantic coast Wednesday night into Thursday, dumping as much as 8 inches or more of snow.

The high tides to watch are both high tides on Thursday, as well as the morning high tide on Friday. Significant rainfall as well as a full moon on Friday may worsen the coastal flooding impacts.

Watch the streets to see if you need to move your cars. Remember that if you don’t move your car and the ice freezes around the tires, you can be stuck till it warms up or ruin your tires.

State Admits ‘oopsy’ with Sandy Grant Relief

moneyHighlands property owners who were denied Sandy relief money are getting a potential second chance at some financial help.

The announcement came one day after a report documented that many NJ homeowners hit hard by the storm were wrongly told they would get no aid.

Public advocacy group Fair Share Housing Center says more than 3,000 applicants were told they were not eligible for one reason or another.

The RREM Grant offers up to $150,000 to rebuild and elevate homes damaged or destroyed by Sandy.