New York City flood maps released by the Federal Emergency Management Agency on Monday reveal that more areas further inland are expected to flood in the future. FEMA updated preliminary maps that reference areas that were hit hard during Hurricane Sandy (including Staten Island, Queens and Brooklyn) by adding roughly 35,000 homes to high-risk zones subject to destructive waves along coastlines. Maps for Manhattan and other parts of the city will be released in February, said agency spokesman Dan Watson.
The maps were created by updating old data with that collected after Hurricane Sandy, doubling the number of structures in flood zones. The new maps will affect home owner insurance rates in the flood-prone zones and determine rebuilding standards for the damaged structures. According to Watson, those homes located in the “A Zones,” or areas with one percent probability of annual flooding, and with federally-backed mortgages will be required to get flood insurance.
Some homes located in high-risk zones will have to be elevated, with three to six foott higher ground floors than previously required by zoning rules. The owners of properties built three feet above the flood line could end up paying $427 for annual flood insurance, while those with homes that have their ground floors located four feet below sea level will pay up to $9,500. However, until the maps formally go into effect two years from now, communities will be able to appeal.
Leaders of Breezy Point Cooperative said they needed time to become familiarized with the new maps and determine the affect they will have on the community. “Keep in mind that the DOB (Department of Buildings) and City still need to make decisions regarding building criteria and if it will change.”
Via NBC News
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