35,000 Homes and Businesses Added to FEMA Flood Zones after Sandy
The revision, the first time in 30 years for New York City, would require homeowners to build homes up to 6 feet higher than their previous foundations, NY1 reported.
Hurricane Sandy brought a monster 14-foot storm surge, inundating Lower Manhattan, the Rockaways and large sections of southern Staten Island.
The surge from the tempest, which made landfall as a superstorm, extended past the city's evacuation zones for a storm of that strength.
A portion of the maps for the city, where the most dramatic changes will take place — the Rockaways, the Coney Island area and southern Staten Island — was released Monday. The rest will be released next month, according to FEMA.
The release came the same day as the U.S. Senate approved a relief bill for Hurricane Sandy victims, which would release funds to help many New Yorkers in rebuilding their homes.
The maps will not go into effect for two years, but homes that have been added to the flood zones will be required to buy flood insurance if the owner has a mortgage backed by the federal government, the News said.
Those who fail to comply with the new guidelines could face premiums up to $10,000 a year, according to the paper.
The city is expected to issue an executive order later this week offering direction to homeowners who are in the midst of post-Sandy rebuilding in flood-prone areas.
"I think that people will need an opportunity to see and understand what [the new zones] are," Deputy Mayor Cas Holloway said Monday.
"We want to help people to be able to get the rebuilding process started if they want to do that right now," he said. "What we're looking at is — what are the changes that we need to make to the building code and zoning code to enable people to do that?
"We're going to make some changes there with the overall goal of helping people to move forward and rebuild safely," he said.
FEMA was not immediately available for comment.