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New York, FEMA in Flood Zone Dispute

New York City and the Federal Emergency Management Agency are locked in a dispute over flood maps...
August 19, 2015

New York City and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) are locked in a dispute over flood maps. In 2013, FEMA released a preliminary flood map for the New York region that substantially increased the area designated as a 100-year floodplain, which are areas that have a 1 percent chance of flooding each year. The map, the first update since 1983 and yet to receive final approval, places nearly 400,000 city residents and 71,500 structures in the 100-year floodplain, which is an 83 percent increase in terms of residents and nearly twice as many structures.

The city is challenging the new map, claiming that the risk of flooding in the expanded flood zone is overestimated and that homeowners would have to pay more for insurance and face other costs. The city commissioned a consulting firm to conduct its own analysis, which shows a smaller flood zone. The city contends that its flood zone is more reasonable than FEMA's.

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