Стр. 11 - The Rockaway Times

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Page 11
THURSDAY, OCTOBER 20, 2016
The Rockaway Times
City and FEMA Agree
to Revise Flood Maps
Rockaway and Broad Chan-
nel residents came out in
force in 2013 when news hit
that flood insurance premi-
ums were set to skyrocket to
a community crippling level.
That show of force got elected
officials to enact new legisla-
tion to protect homeowners
and it drew attention to the
need to have fair and accurate
flood maps.
And now word comes that
floodmaps will be revised. The
City and FEMA announced
plans to revise the maps fol-
lowing an appeal the City
made more than a year ago.
How those revisions affect
Rockaway remains to be seen.
When FEMA issued prelimi-
nary newfloodmaps in 2013 for
New York City, 71,500 buildings
were included, almost twice
the number the old flood maps
had. Shortly thereafter the City
began plans to appeal.
The new FEMA maps also
affected 400,000 New Yorkers
whereas the City had its own
estimate of 230,000.
After hiring outside experts
New York officially appealed
the FEMA maps in August,
2015.
On Monday, October 17,
the City and FEMA in a joint
statement said technical anal-
ysis submitted by New York in
its appeal should be utilized
in the map revisions.
The City’s appeal should
relieve many New Yorkers
of burdensome flood insur-
ance premiums. However,
since the maps have yet to be
drawn it is impossible to say
how homeowners in Rocka-
way will be affected. The pre-
liminary maps issued in 2013
showed block by block flood
risk differences throughout
the peninsula. The new maps
will do the same but like-
ly vary from the old maps in
many instances.
Until the new flood maps are
issued, flood insurance rates
in New York City will continue
to be based on the prior maps.
The announcement said: “For
those outside of the highest
risk areas on thosemaps, flood
insurance will remain less ex-
pensive; both FEMA and the
City encourage residents to
purchase this affordable flood
coverage because we know
that there is flood risk out-
side of the highest risk areas.
Until new flood maps are de-
veloped that both accurately
reflect current flood risk and
also provide an assessment of
future climate conditions for
long-term planning purposes,
the city’s building code will
continue to reflect the 2015
preliminary FIRM’s (Flood
Insurance Rate Maps) to en-
sure that new buildings are
better able to withstand flood
risk from rising sea levels and
coastal storm surge, and so
that recovery from Hurricane
Sandy can continue without
interruption.
“As the maps are being re-
vised, it is crucial that New
Yorkers remain aware of their
current and future flood risk.
To ensure residents keep their
home and finances safe, the
City has launched a consumer
education campaign directing
residents to FloodHelpNY.org,
a one-stop shop for flood risk
information. Once the revised
flood maps come in effect, ad-
ditional extensive outreach
and education programs will
be provided for all communi-
ties.”
The National Flood Insur-
ance Program will come be-
fore Congress is 2017 as it is
scheduled for reauthoriza-
tion.