Despite the lessons of Hurricane Sandy, developers continue to build in the city’s most flood-prone areas.
About 12,350 of new apartments under construction or planned as of January are located within the city’s most serious flood zones, according to Localize.city. A majority of these projects — 45 — are located in southern Brooklyn in Coney Island, Brighton Beach and Gravesend, the New York Times reported. Hunters Point in Queens, which is located in a high-risk zone, increased its population 90 percent from 2010 to 2016, jumping from 3,979 households to 7,553.
The worst flood zone is known as the 100-year flood plain, which means it has a 1 percent chance of flooding any given year. In the life of a 30-year mortgage, that translates to a 26 percent chance of at least one flood.
While individual buildings have incorporated flood protection measures — like moving mechanical equipment to a higher floor — it’s not clear whether the surrounding neighborhoods will be able to weather such storms.
“I think we have short-term memory,” said Patrick W. Smith, an agent with Stribling & Associates, who lives and works in Long Island City. “Home buyers still ask about the flood zone, but it hasn’t stopped anyone from buying.”
Older homes in flood-risk zones could face a significant spike in insurance rates once the new FEMA map is approved. Rates for some homeowners could jump from $400 to $4,000, said Zachary Paganini, a student at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York.