Some New Yorkers who saw their homes badly damaged or destroyed by Hurricane Sandy will have to rebuild three to six feet above their house's current level.
In the wake of new flood elevation maps released by the Federal Emergency Management Agency on Monday, the mayor's office plans to issue an executive order later this week that will determine what homeowners will be required to do during rebuilding.
For the first time in 30 years, FEMA has revised its flood elevation maps for the five boroughs, which will dictate how homeowners should rebuild.
FEMA officials say the number of homes included in flood zones has doubled from 35,000 to 70,000.
Michael Byrne, federal coordinating officers for FEMA, said, "It's the best science that we have got right now to show people the risk that they are taking when they live in these communities and how to mitigate that. The good news is we now know what it's going to take to make these homes safer."
The new maps will also determine flood insurance rates, and some with severely damaged houses may have to put their homes on columns.
"For people who want to rebuild, and who were severely impacted by Sandy, this will also help them make a determination about how to do it safely," said Deputy Mayor Cas Holloway.
Residents in the Rockaways said the higher price tag of rebuilding could force some of them to leave their Sandy-damaged homes behind.
With more requirements comes a higher price tag. Some rebuilding out in here in the Rockaways say that may mean residents could leave structures like this behind.
"We think it will add $100,000 to $150,000 more to the cost of rebuilding the house," said Robert Intelisano, a resident of the Rockaways.
"Most of the homeowners have a certain amount of money to rebuild. And it's going to be so prohibitive that people aren't going to rebuild, most of them," said Louis Simoneschi, a contactor.
City officials are finalizing instructions for homeowners and should release more details this week.
To see how your home is affected, look up your address at www.region2coastal.com.
FEMA Coordinating Officer Mike Byrne On Flood Maps
NY1: New FEMA Flood Maps Double Number Of Local At-Risk Homes
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Mike Byrne, a coordinating officer for FEMA spoke with NY1 about the new flood maps.