Monday, April 21, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Revised FEMA Maps Cheered by Shore Residents, Criticized by Environmentalists

The outcry that greeted FEMA's preliminary flood maps officially adopted by Gov. Chris Christie in the aftermath of Sandy began almost the moment they were introduced. Many residents would have to raise their homes and businesses several feet on pilings, or else pay dramatically higher flood insurance rates in the years to come, and they didn't like what they saw. They held rallies, formed Facebook groups opposing the new restrictions and contacted their political leaders, calling for the elevations to be reconsidered.

Revised FEMA Maps Cheered by Shore Residents, Criticized by Environmentalists

The outcry that greeted FEMA’s preliminary flood maps officially adopted by Gov. Chris Christie in the aftermath of Sandy began almost the moment they were introduced. Many residents would have to raise their homes and businesses several feet on pilings, or else pay dramatically higher flood insurance rates in the years to come, and they didn’t like what they saw. They held rallies, formed Facebook groups opposing the new restrictions and contacted their political leaders, calling for the elevations to be reconsidered.

Those maps had last been updated in the early 1980s, and were in the process of being updated again when Sandy hit. They weren’t yet complete, but FEMA’s regional Mitigation Director Bill McDonnell says the agency decided to release them anyway as an early guideline for coastal residents starting the recovery process. “It was based on the best available data that we had at that time,” he said. “It was a conservative estimation so that if people were rebuilding, we knew that they were going to rebuild to a higher standard.”

But the portion of the maps that had not yet been finished involved accurate demarcations of which areas were considered “velocity zones.” Those are the most at-risk parts of the shore where buildings would have to be built to withstand three-foot waves, on top of the flooding.

Click here for the full post

About this blog
NJ Spotlight is an issue-driven news website that provides critical insight to New Jersey’s communities and businesses. We are non-partisan, independent, policy-centered and community-minded, and we're partnering with Philly.com.

Contact us: info@njspotlight.com

Press releases: news@njspotlight.com

Sales: kharold@njspotlight.com

More information: www.njspotlight.com


NJ Spotlight
Also on Philly.com
Stay Connected