Christie Issues Sandy Rebuilding Rules


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Hurricane Sandy damage in Bayhead (Photo courtesy Governor’s Office/Tim Larsen)

If you are one of the Verona residents whose shore property was destroyed or damaged by Hurricane Sandy last October, Gov. Christie had some news yesterday about rebuilding–and it’s both good and bad.

Speaking in Seaside Heights, the governor said that there are “very few” places where home and business owners won’t be able to rebuild. But if you rebuild, you’re going to have to follow standards that the federal government has proposed, but not even adopted yet.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency has developed new maps of flood-prone areas in New Jersey and New York. If the risk for flooding at your home or business is high, you’ll have to build higher to lower your insurance costs. Not more stories, but on a higher foundation. FEMA’s rules won’t be official for another 18 to 24 months, but the governor wants to restore the shore now.

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To find out if your property is affected, your first stop should be the FEMA flood advisory toolkit, which you can find here. There are highly detailed maps showing different levels of risk, but you can quickly zoom into yours by typing in your address here.

Rebuilding to the proposed FEMA rules is likely to cost you more, and it will have to be financed out of whatever settlement you get for your property. But it could save you a lot down the road. The governor said that insurance on a property in the current “A” flood zone that is not rebuilt with elevation could be as much as  $31,000 a year. If the property is rebuilt to FEMA’s recommended elevation, the premium drops to $7,000 a year. The premium could fall further if the reconstruction exceeds FEMA’s standards.

You can read the press release on the governor’s actions here.

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Virginia Citrano
Virginia Citrano
Virginia Citrano grew up in Verona. She moved away to write and edit for The Wall Street Journal’s European edition, Institutional Investor, Crain’s New York Business and Since returning to Verona, she has volunteered for school, civic and religious groups, served nine years on the Verona Environmental Commission and is now part of Sustainable Verona. She co-founded MyVeronaNJ in 2009. You can reach Virginia at [email protected]


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