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By KAITLYN MEADE |
Some home and business owners learned in October that just because their building is not located in Flood Zone A, it does not necessarily mean the area is without flooding risks —Superstorm Sandy’s 14-foot storm surge caused some reevaluation of areas throughout New York City that are at lower elevations.
The result of those evaluations will soon be available online through FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency).
Crystal Tramunti, Natural Hazards Program Specialist at FEMA, who usually works near the Community Board offices at 90 Broadway but was deployed to Queens after Sandy, was on hand at Wednesday night’s Community Board 1 Executive Committee meeting to announce the release of coastal analysis and mapping tools for Lower Manhattan. The tools will “go live” on Sunday night.
A Region II Coastal Analysis and Mapping website will provide the latest information on Hurricane Sandy recovery efforts and Hurricane Sandy Advisory Base Flood Elevations available. The A.B.F.E.s will support rebuilding efforts in coastal New Jersey and New York. Information will be available to help business and home owners assess the risks of living in the coastal regions. There are also specialized toolkits for local leaders, builders, architects and lenders.
Typing in an address will show the elevation and risk designation of the spot and link to other tools about purchasing appropriate flood insurance.
“When these products go live this Sunday, there are a lot of great tools on the website to help people through the process,” she said, including answering questions about elevation above sea-level in each area and the changing dynamics of a flood zone.
The first stop, Tramunti said, is a youtube video that shows how to use the site.
C.B. 1 Chairperson Catherine McVay Hughes said she had been on the website already, but that the maps and tools for Lower Manhattan had not been released when she visited. As to whether the site was “user-friendly,” she said she would have to take more time to decide.
“I guess I was frustrated because I didn’t see Lower Manhattan on it,” Hughes said, adding, “I’ll know how useful it will be when I see Lower Manhattan on it, which we know very well.”
For more information, visit www.region2coastal.com