Tag Archives: FEMA flood zones

Borough Board votes down raising homes in flood-prone zones

| mhayes@queenscourier.com

The borough doesn’t want to raise the stakes on its homes.

The Borough Board recently voted against a freeboarding requirement that would elevate homes in flood-prone zones an additional two feet higher than FEMA standards.

“Our concern was the requirement to go above and beyond the recommended base elevation,” said Betty Braton, chair of Community Board 10.

Additionally, areas such as Howard Beach are still awaiting zoning resolutions from FEMA and a specific elevation requirement that comes with each zone. Preliminary zone and evacuation maps are expected to be released by the end of the summer.

Braton said another concern of the Borough Board was finalizing the freeboarding requirement before individualized elevation requirements are made final.

“It wasn’t necessary that we approve this at this point in time,” she said.

Although the southern region of the borough is no stranger to elevating homes, an additional height requirement will impact people who are in the process of trying to rebuild after Sandy, Braton said.

Borough President Helen Marshall disapproved of the proposal as well, “until there is some consideration of providing financial assistance to homeowners” that will allow them to comply.

The proposal was presented by the Department of City Planning and the Department of Buildings, which are carrying out an executive order, according to the borough president’s office.



Amendment would delay flood insurance premium increases

| ctumola@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/File photo

A new amendment will help Sandy victims avoid drowning in flood insurance premium increases—at least for several years to come.

Senator Charles Schumer announced his support for an amendment to the Water Resources Development Act that delays increases for those with National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) coverage in communities affected by updated FEMA flood maps for five years.

“I will strongly support this amendment that staves off massive, looming flood insurance hikes for homeowners, many of whom are dedicating every available penny to rebuilding,” he said.

Following Sandy, FEMA decided to update the city’s flood maps. The changes, which are still under revision, will classify more neighborhoods as flood zones and bring about increases to insurance premiums there.

In January, shortly after FEMA published the first of two phases of updated Advisory Base Flood Elevation maps, Mayor Michael Bloomberg signed an emergency executive order suspending height and other restrictions. The idea was to let buildings meet the new elevation standards and to mitigate costs of future flood insurance premium increases.

As of press time, the amendment was awaiting a vote.