FEMA adds 35,000 new buildings to New York flood maps
FEMA released its first new maps of the New York City area since the 1980s, Monday, designating an additional 35,000 businesses and homes in flood zones of Manhattan, Brooklyn, the Rockaways and Westchester.
FEMA scheduled to release new flood maps, which determine flood insurance rates, this summer, but after the damage Superstorm Sandy caused in the state, the agency used the information regarding where the floodwaters reached to streamline the process, and release preliminary maps. Homeowners, who are rebuilding, should use the maps as a guide to prevent their houses from being flooded again, a FEMA spokeswoman said
"These maps will tell homeowners how high they should be elevated. As they rebuild, they can take that number and bring it to a contractor to save money on flood insurance and protect themselves against future storms," the spokeswoman said.
The maps have changed a great deal, according to the spokeswoman. Every new building built since the 1980s, newly paved roads, or flood walls affect if an area is now considered a flood zone.
During Superstorm Sandy, floodwaters far surpassed what was originally considered Zone A. The damaged areas are now accounted for in the newly released, interactive maps.
Residents can visit www.region2coastal.com to find out their property's elevation. Residents are being advised to build three-feet above base flood elevation.
FEMA admits residents will initially pay more to rebuild higher, but they will save money long term with lower flood insurance premiums.