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FEMA Flood Map Changes Trigger Anxiety

by Diana Stricker | Sep 3, 2013 7:10 am | Comments (3)

Diana Stricker Photos A FEMA workshop to discuss new flood maps and insurance changes brought a flood a people, a flood of questions and a flood of frustration in Branford.

New FEMA [Federal Emergency Management Agency] floodplain maps went into effect in New Haven County in July, resulting in more properties being designated as high risk zones. In addition, residents will have to deal with the effects of the Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012 which will phase out lower premiums for many homes, including older homes that were grandfathered into the National Flood Insurance Program. (Click here to read a previous story about the new maps.)

Continue reading ‘FEMA Flood Map Changes Trigger Anxiety’ »

Inland Wetlands Asks Tough Questions On Flooding, Failed Projects

by Diana Stricker | Aug 21, 2013 6:18 am

Diana Stricker Photo Members of Branford’s Inland Wetlands Commission are taking recent history into account as they deliberate a proposed housing project on Gould Lane.  They are asking the developer to consider the impact of super storms on drainage and flooding issues.

“We’re getting 50- and 100-year storms all the time,” said Commissioner Richard Orson. Current town standards require developers to design drainage structures to withstand 25-year storms; Orson said recent superstorms have resulted in widespread flooding in various sections of town. He said the frequency of storms in the past few years has caused the commission to become a “bit over-cautious.”

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Stony Creek Beach Reopens After Razor Sharp Oyster Invasion

by Diana Stricker | Jul 24, 2013 9:04 am

Alex Palluzzi Photo Oh … those mighty mollusks! 

An unusual influx of razor-sharp oyster shells forced the closure of Stony Creek’s public beach this week. But excavation work last evening cleared the way to open the beach today.

Continue reading ‘Stony Creek Beach Reopens After Razor Sharp Oyster Invasion’ »

Scenic Farm River Estuary Preserved As Open Space

by Diana Stricker | Jul 7, 2013 9:23 pm

Mary Johnson Photo Final papers were signed late last month giving the Town of Branford ownership of a scenic and strategically valuable piece of property that will be preserved as open space. There were smiles all around.

The 22 acres of land in the Farm River estuary features trees, grasslands, marshes and agricultural soils.  The area helps protect water quality in the Farm River, serves as a habitat for numerous species of birds, and provides a flyway for thousands of migrating birds each year.

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New Law May Stop Paint From Ending Up In The Sound

by marcia chambers | Jul 2, 2013 10:05 am | Comments (2)

Marcia Chambers Photo Governor Dannel P. Malloy ceremonially tossed the first gallon of unused paint into a bin at Sherwin-Williams in Branford yesterday, officially launching a new recycling programs that gives consumers a place to return leftover paint cans.

That’s the simple part. The program’s underlying purpose is to provide a way for paint stores to assume responsibility for how their products end up. In the past the state’s towns and cities had those often heavy financial burdens, costing them up to $600,000 each year to help consumers get rid of old or unused paint. 

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Do You Live In A Flood Plain?

by Diana Stricker | Jun 7, 2013 6:06 am | Comments (1)

Mary Johnson Photo Hundreds of Branford properties that were always considered “dry ground” will soon be in the middle of a flood plain—- not because of projected rising seas, but because of new FEMA maps.

The updated FEMA flood plain maps will be effective July 8 in New Haven County, and will be phased in for other counties and states.

“The flood plain is creeping further inland,” said Town Engineer Janice Plaziak, who also serves as Branford’s flood plain manager. “Hundreds more properties will be included.”

Continue reading ‘Do You Live In A Flood Plain?’ »

Superstorm Fear: How Long Will Our Homes Survive?

by Diana Stricker | May 23, 2013 5:10 am

With Permission Residents who travel Linden Avenue along the Branford shoreline know about natural hazards. Now they want to learn about mitigation.

Battered by super storms, blizzards and flooding from high tides, residents from Beckett Avenue to Meadow Street to Hotchkiss Grove to Linden Avenue are looking for answers. 

So the majority of people attending a Hazard Mitigation Workshop in Branford Monday were Linden Avenue area residents who were nearly stranded by Tropical Storm Irene. The massive storm surge severely damaged the only road to the peninsula where 400 families live in the Indian Neck and Pawson Park neighborhoods.

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Mattress Recycle Bill Passes

by marcia chambers | May 7, 2013 5:18 am

File Photo A mattress recycling bill that is expected to become the model for laws across the nation was overwhelmingly approved by the state House of Representatives late Thursday, nearly a year after it was shelved because it wound up on the other side of midnight on the last day of a legislative session.

As fate would have it, Rep. Pat Widlitz (pictured), D-Guilford and Branford, the major sponsor of the bill, said waiting a year may well have been a blessing because the additional year gave legislators and industry officials time to formulate a plan that others states are likely to adopt. 

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Open-Space Acquisition OK’d

by Diana Stricker | May 2, 2013 11:00 am

With Permission Branford is a step closer to preserving 22 acres of meadows, marshlands and trees after the Board of Selectmen (BOS) unanimously approved the open space acquisition Wednesday.

“It’s a dramatic property… very beautiful,” said Ainsley Highman, chair of the Parks and Open Space Authority.

Highman said keeping the land in its natural state will enable the salt marsh to serve as a buffer against flooding. “Salt marsh areas are kind of disappearing ... they’re precious. A lot of them have been destroyed or developed.”

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“Emotional, Painful And Expensive”

by Diana Stricker | Apr 24, 2013 8:46 am | Comments (1)

Diana Stricker Photo There are no easy answers when it comes to rising seas and shoreline communities.

• Homes can be elevated, but neighbors’ scenic views may be blocked.

• Sea walls may protect one property, but divert damage to another.

• Towns can elevate local flood-prone roads, but what will the state do about the connecting roads?

• Federal flood plain maps are expanding, but can homeowners afford the escalating cost of flood insurance?

Continue reading ‘“Emotional, Painful And Expensive”’ »

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