As we all know thanks to the appearance of Hurricane Sandy, flooding can be a major problem for places like the Jersey Shore. But high waters can affect inland locations, as well, That’s why specialists from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and from the state will hold an open house Wednesday, July 24, from 4 to 8 p.m., at the Mercer County Library at 2751 Brunswick Pike, Lawrenceville.

The flood experts will provide information and answer questions about the revised preliminary Flood Insurance Rate Maps and Flood Insurance Study for Mercer County, which were released on May 30.

Residents will have the opportunity to view the maps at the open house or at the Lawrenceville Municipal Office.

While only 1.27 percent of the county’s 229 square miles is covered by water, the region still has its share of water problems. “A history of flooding throughout Mercer County indicates that flooding may be experienced during any season of the year,” the report notes. “Flooding during the winter months is less frequent. However, the Delaware River overflows most frequently during late winter and early spring because of snowmelt, with ice jams as an occasional factor increasing flooding conditions. Extensive flooding has occurred in the late summer and fall, usually being associated with thunderstorms, hurricanes, and northeasters along the Atlantic coast.

“Over the past few decades, the flooding problem in Mercer County has been aggravated by urban and industrial development. Many inadequate road and railroad crossings constrict the floodplains and several of the industrial developments are situated where they hinder the free passage of flood flows. The resultant increases in flood stage compound the damage sustained during the occurrence of larger flood events.”

Among the “flooding sources” cited in the study are some all too familiar names: the Delaware River, Assunpink Creek, Harrys Brook, and Jacobs Creek. Along with them are others that may be more obscure: Bridegroom Run, Pleasant Run, Canoe Brook, Pond Run, Cherry Run, Rocky Brook, Shabakunk Creek, Doctors Creek, and Shipetaukin Creek.

Homeowners contemplating adding flood insurance to their insurance policies or potential buyers of a new home might want to consult the FEMA maps and report, which is also available online at www.fema.org.

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