The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) released new guidelines for determining the risk of flooding and building to minimize flood risk for 10 coastal counties in New Jersey on Dec. 14, 2012.
The counties of Atlantic, Bergen, Burlington, Cape May, Essex, Hudson, Middlesex, Monmouth, Ocean and Union were the focus of a study by FEMA. The coastlines of New Jersey and New York were studied to determine the risk for flooding after the impacts of Sandy on homes and businesses. They then developed Advisory Base Flood Elevations (ABFEs) maps to serve a guidelines for rebuilding efforts in the flooded areas.
The ABFEs are to serve as an intermediate response as the studies to determine updates for the Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM) that were underway before Sandy hut will not be finalized before mid-2013. The FIRM currently in use was developed more than 25 years ago, according to a press release from FEMA. The flood information on the current FIRM underestimates the flood risks.
On the FEMA Region II’s Coastal Website, companies or homeowners who are rebuilding homes or businesses can access the maps. On this site, there is a link that takes users to an interactive ABFEs map where they can click on their location and view a PDF that gives information specialized to their area. The PDF gives information about how high Sandy’s surge levels were, where areas of flood hazards are and areas that received moderate wave action.
FEMA advises all parties involved in rebuilding to adopt standards of building based on the ABFEs to reduce the impacts of storms in the future.
ABFEs for the following New York counties will be released by FEMA soon: Bronx, Kings, New York, Richmond, Queens and Westchester.
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