APNewsBreak: US, New Jersey town agree on beach flooding fix

MARGATE, N.J. — The federal government has agreed to clean up the mess it created on a New Jersey beach, where flooding from a dune construction project forced beachgoers to wade through vile water or take blocks-long detours to reach the ocean.

Jordan Rand, the lawyer for Margate, told The Associated Press that the town and federal governments filed an agreement with U.S. District Court on Tuesday night.

It calls for construction of an underground pipe system to prevent water from collecting between the dunes and the town's wooden bulkhead.

The plan was signed Wednesday by a federal judge.

"This should eliminate the problem," said Rand, who unsuccessfully sued the federal government on behalf of homeowners and then the town to try to block the dune construction project. The lawsuits predicted in minute detail almost exactly the type of flooding Margate feared would occur if the dunes were built.

The dunes are part of Republican Gov. Chris Christie's plan for a nearly unbroken line of storm defense along the state's 127-mile coastline, something he insisted is necessary following the catastrophic damage Superstorm Sandy wreaked on parts of the shore in 2012.

Margate, an upscale shore town south of Atlantic City, argues that its wooden bulkhead provides adequate protection against ocean storm surge, and says most of its Sandy damage came from bay flooding on the other side of town.

The solution agreed upon Tuesday night will involve the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers installing pipes underground, running parallel to the beach to collect water that otherwise would have ponded on the beach. Every few blocks, outfall pipes will carry that water back out to the ocean, Rand said.

The federal government will pay the entire cost of the project, which has not yet been calculated, he said.

Representatives of the Army Corps did not immediately respond to requests for comment Wednesday. A consent decree filed Tuesday night shows both sides in agreement with the plan, including that it "will be paid for with federal funds allocated for the federal project."

Last month, New Jersey Superior Court Judge Julio Mendez expressed shock at photos showing "lake-like" ponds of standing water on the beach in Margate for days following heavy rains, and temporarily shut down the project. But a federal court allowed it to resume while both sides worked toward a permanent solution.

When storms dumped nearly a half foot of rain on Margate, water quickly collected in excavated areas between the dunes and the wooden bulkhead that separates oceanfront homes from the sand. Some were 2 or more feet deep, and lay stagnate until the Army Corps began pumping them out days later.

Mayor Michael Becker said the city's testing of water from the ponds found "off the charts" levels of bacterial contamination. He said two lifeguards contracted bacterial infections by sloshing through the dirty water and were out sick from work.

___

This story has been corrected to show that the state government was not a party to the consent order signed by the judge.

___

Follow Wayne Parry at http://twitter.com/WayneParryAC

Must Read

Libya's deepening split finds battleground at oil terminals

Mar 12, 2017

The fight for Libya's Ras Lanuf refinery and nearby Sidr depot threatens to spiral into open conflict between rival factions vying for power from east and west

Thousands pay final respects to megachurch pastor Eddie Long

Jan 25, 2017

An ex-governor, an NFL Hall of Famer and thousands of others paid their final respects Wednesday to Eddie Long, a pastor who built a Georgia megachurch but whose final years fell under the shadow of sexual misconduct allegations

Colbert gleefully responds 'I won' to insults from Trump

May 12, 2017

Stephen Colbert has gleefully responded to insults hurled his way by President Donald Trump, cheering the fact that he finally got Trump to say his name

People also read these

Libya's deepening split finds battleground at oil terminals

Mar 12, 2017

The fight for Libya's Ras Lanuf refinery and nearby Sidr depot threatens to spiral into open conflict between rival factions vying for power from east and west

Thousands pay final respects to megachurch pastor Eddie Long

Jan 25, 2017

An ex-governor, an NFL Hall of Famer and thousands of others paid their final respects Wednesday to Eddie Long, a pastor who built a Georgia megachurch but whose final years fell under the shadow of sexual misconduct allegations

Colbert gleefully responds 'I won' to insults from Trump

May 12, 2017

Stephen Colbert has gleefully responded to insults hurled his way by President Donald Trump, cheering the fact that he finally got Trump to say his name

Weather, 20 December
Houston Weather
+7

High: +11° Low: -2°

Humidity: 83%

Wind: NNE - 7 KPH

Canberra Weather
+27

High: +27° Low: +17°

Humidity: 87%

Wind: W - 20 KPH

Roissy-en-France Weather
+6

High: +6° Low: -5°

Humidity: 87%

Wind: ENE - 7 KPH

Florence Weather
+9

High: +9° Low: +6°

Humidity: 97%

Wind: ENE - 17 KPH

Parga Weather
+7

High: +16° Low: +4°

Humidity: 100%

Wind: SE - 25 KPH