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Town Acquires First Severely Damaged Irene Home

Paid for via federal and county flood mitigation programs, the Lake Hiawatha home will be razed and turned into open space for perpetuity.

The first flood-damaged Parsippany home slated for acquisition is now the property of the township.

Mayor James Barberio presided over the Feb. 13 closing of a River Drive home. 

There is more to come, he said, noting that closings for the remaining 17 severely damaged homes should take place soon.

These residences, rendered uninhabitable during Tropical Storm Irene in 2011, qualified for a voluntary FEMA grant enabling the municipality to purchase their homes for future demolition and eventual reversion to open space for perpetuity. Monies came from matching grants via the FEMA Hazard Mitigation Assistance Program and the Morris County Flood Mitigation Program.

Lake Hiawatha resident Rebecca Erb is the first homeowner to relinquish her home as part of this effort.

Sick of the Bull February 25, 2013 at 03:22 PM
This is absolute nonsense. Why am I ( a lifelong Parsippany resident) paying to buy someone else's house because they were stupid enough to buy in a known flood zone. This is their problem, not mine. Hey Parsippany, how about buying my house cause I'm getting tired of all the "drama" in Parsippany...
Tushar R February 25, 2013 at 06:15 PM
The money for this came from a FEMA fund. Your Parsippany tax dollars did not pay for it, your federal tax dollars did. When the town receives this money from FEMA, they probably have no (or a very limited) choice to do anything other than using it to purchase the property.
Jill Lammey February 26, 2013 at 11:54 AM
Growing up in Lower Hiawatha I find this so sad. I am not stupid, and I really resent that. Since I have no children in the school system, should I not pay school tax? If your tired of the drama, then move. These people lost everything.
Laureen McGovern February 26, 2013 at 01:41 PM
why was the town stupid enough to let people build in a flood zone? maybe because it was not that bad of a flood zone until they build up stream and took down the trees and paved over the land that once absorbed a lot of the water or were they just money hungry to get the taxes. many towns still allow people to build, sell and buy homes in the flood zone, but why if it that great of a risk? why doesn't the town maintain the flood walls and levee system? why doesn't the town get the levee system accredited and certified to meet fema's criteria? why is the river not kept clean and free of debris so the water flows without restrictions? why don't towns communicate better, because what one town does upstream or downstream affects everyone else along the river. what is absolutely nonsense it that this would have never happened if everyone one involved, the towns, united water, were more proactive instead of reactive like they were with super storm sandy.
VietNam Vet May 07, 2013 at 06:41 AM
Laureen, I so agree with you. The other problem that makes it bad is all the curves in the river, they should have called it the Snake River or the river of curves, this all slows the flow of the water down and all the fallen trees cluttering the river.

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