Saturday, May 4, 2013
Residents rally outside the Sandy-ravaged Surf Club in Ortley Beach
On any given day or night in the past, Joey Harrison's Surf Club parking lot on Sixth Avenue in Ortley Beach would be packed with cars. But that was before Oct. 29, 2012. There is no parking lot left. And soon the Surf Club will be a memory. Superstorm Sandy took care of that. Two oceanfront homes battered by Sandy served as a backdrop for the latest meeting of the grassroots group Stop FEMA Now. The meeting was held in the Ortley Beach section of Toms River - the spot many consider the epicenter of devastation in Ocean County. Stop FEMA Now founder George Kasimos pointed to the pale-yellow house knocked off its foundation, as seagulls wheeled overhead in a cerulean sky. The Atlantic Ocean roared beyond the new dunes. "Six months," he said…
Friday, April 26, 2013
At a recent Stop FEMA Now meeting, Bayville residents expressed frustration over the vague answers they've received about rebuilding.
Homes are still in disrepair following Hurricane Sandy and residents are wondering how best to rebuild. New proposed flood maps could force residents to pay tens of thousands of dollars a year in flood insurance but many still don’t know where their homes fall in the different zones. Homeowners are grappling with decisions like should they elevate or simply leave it all behind. Compounding every single one of these questions is the fact that it’s just too difficult to get a straight answer to satisfy any of them. Before a crowd of about 150 people at Berkeley Township Elementary School Thursday night, representatives from Stop FEMA Now, the grassroots organization opposed to the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s advisory flood maps, …
Sunday, April 21, 2013
The grassroots organization has its sites set on national attention.
From its humble beginnings - a few concerned residents sitting around a table in a small sub shop in Toms River - Stop FEMA Now, the grassroots organization opposed to the federal agency’s flood maps, has grown and continues to attract crowds at meetings throughout the state. Now it’s time for the second phase. Prior to a meeting in Atlantic City to discuss flood maps with residents of yet another county, Stop FEMA Now founder George Kasimos said the causes continues to grow. More and more residents continue to discover that their homes are now listed in FEMA’s flood zones, he said, and now they’re looking for answers. And ultimately, they’re looking for a way to fight back. The group’s Facebook page has grown from just a few hundred likes…
Saturday, March 9, 2013
Grassroots group that opposes FEMA's advisory base flood elevations issued after Superstorm Sandy gaining momentum
Superstorm Sandy residents came by the hundreds to today to support the grassroots organization Stop FEMA Now today at the Silverton First Aid Squad building on Maine Street in Toms River. There were few places left to park on the side streets. Drivers searched up and down Pierson Street, Blossom Drive and Oak Hill Drive looking for places to park. "Get the word out," thundered George Kasimos, who organized Stop FEMA Now shortly after the Federal Emergency Management Agency released the advisory base flood elevation data. "We have to get the word out," he said. "Like us on Facebook. Stop FEMA Now! Like us! Did anybody not hear that?" Residents packed the ambulance bay area and spilled out onto the driveway. Many stood for the entire …
Thursday, February 28, 2013
The group hopes a new space will accommodate its large numbers.
After its last meeting was shut down by Toms River police due to overcrowding, the grassroots organization Stop FEMA Now has scheduled a new meeting date, this time in a location organizers hope can accommodate the group's growing numbers. The next Stop FEMA Now meeting is planned for Sat., March 9 from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. at the Silverton First Aid Squad at 86 Maine St. in Toms River. The venue, which is significantly larger than the group's previous meeting location, a sub shop in a strip mall, should be large enough to handle the anticipated crowd of more than 100 people. The group has had to search for a new location after being overwhelmed at it's meeting last Saturday. After receiving 20 RSVPs from area residents saying they would …
Sunday, February 24, 2013
The resident-led organization wants to challenge FEMA's flood maps.
Grassroots organization Stop FEMA Now held a recent meeting in Toms River to discuss the Federal Emergency Management Agency's new advisory base flood elevation maps and their implications for residents along New Jersey's coast. Though the combination meet and great and rally ended early after being shut down by police because of safety concerns due to overcrowding of the meeting location, residents were able to share concerns and some answers regarding the flood maps.
Saturday, February 23, 2013
The Saturday afternoon meeting changed venues once but was shut down by Toms River police after large crowds showed up.
A meeting by a grassroots organization dedicated to opposing the Federal Emergency Management Agency's (FEMA) flood maps was shut down by Toms River police Saturday after being overwhelmed by large crowds. The group, Stop FEMA Now, is hoping its unified voice will reach elected officials and encourage them to speak out against FEMA's Advisory Base Flood Elevation maps, which were recently adopted by the State. If the maps aren't changed, thousands of residents along New Jersey's coasts will be required to elevate their homes or face potentially financially-crippling flood insurance premiums in the years go come. After its meeting last week saw about 25 people show up to Belly Busters Subs for a brief discussion, organizers were optimistic …
Thursday, February 21, 2013
A grassroots organization opposed to FEMA's new flood maps is hoping to make some changes.
The same complaints George Kasimos has shared with his neighbors across the street he’s seen posted online, questions and concerns futilely written in emails and posted on message boards and social media sites, left unanswered. Residents are angry, they’re frustrated, and they want to know what’s next. There’s a movement brewing, but what it lacks is direction. Like many residents of the Jersey Shore, Kasimos is facing an uncertain future following Hurricane Sandy, one that’s especially clouded by the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s new flood elevation maps. He wants to fight the maps, knows he’s not alone. But if residents are to stand a chance, they need to be organized and share the same motivation. The solution is simple, he said…