We are a community of homeowners who enjoy seaside living. Living so close to the Atlantic Ocean, we have also gotten more than our fair share of problems.
We don’t have to stretch our memories very far to remember the devastation Hurricane Sandy brought us just a few short years ago. In an attempt to relieve us of the problems caused by flooding, the Army Corps of Engineers, (in their infinite wisdom), decided that our flooding problem was caused by the ocean rather than the bay. This decision brought about the federally financed dune project, which was forced on us by our Federal and State governments.
As residents and homeowners of Margate, we could have told them that our problems with flooding water comes from the bay, not the ocean. Did they ask us? No, they did not.
As a result of the damage caused by Hurricane Sandy, the home values have plummeted at the Jersey Shore. There are still many people who are not back in their homes! The problem of flooding is not unique to the Jersey Shore. The Midwest and Miami have had similar “water problems”. In Miami, property values have dropped when the property is located on the water while inland home values have increased.
Many of our neighbors have “thrown in the towel” and have chosen not to rebuild. Property taxes have increased as the population has decreased due to homeowners who don’t have the funds required to make the corrections needed to prevent the damage done by Sandy from recurring.
People have looked elsewhere for vacation homes, not wanting to risk another occurrence like Sandy. The financial impact due to the loss of shore residents has hit all businesses in our town very hard.
Currently we are in the process of working to help achieve an increase in the amount of National Flood Insurance available to our residents to a level that would provide adequate funding to our neighbors to make the necessary improvements on their properties to avoid losses like those we have experienced in the past.
If you have a story about problems you’ve had in renovating your property pertaining to this issue, please share them with us at the Margate Homeowners Association. We are hoping to be able to put you in touch with people who might be able to help.