New expanded floods zones to pass rebuilding costs on to homeowners

Vandervoort Avenue in East Williamsburg during Hurricane Sandy
Vandervoort Avenue in East Williamsburg during Hurricane Sandy

Federal officials have spent the last six weeks working with New York City officials to redraw maps and expand flood zones that haven’t been changed since 1983. And the boundaries have nowhere to go but farther inland.

Last month, Mayor Bloomberg emphasized that two-thirds of the homes battered by Sandy were beyond evacuation zones, with neighborhoods that had never flooded before, such as Gerritsen Beach and East Williamsburg, seeing significant amounts of water.

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“I’m sure there’s going to be a lot of properties not in the flood zone before and find themselves in now,” Don Griffin, a vice president at the Property Casualty Insurers Association of America, told the Post.

And since the redrawn maps will form the basis for new building regulations, those planning to build or rebuild within a flood zone will need to meet strict FEMA-designated height requirements.

“Every foot below the flood plain adds to the cost,” Griffin said. [NYP]Christopher Cameron