Wednesday, August 12, 2009

New maps put 25,000 residents of New York's Long Island in flood zones

New York Newsday: More than 25,000 Long Island homeowners may have to buy flood insurance that costs up to $2,000 because their homes are in newly designated flood-prone areas in federal maps that go into effect next month.

However, the homeowners can reduce the cost of a flood policy by buying coverage before Sept. 11 in Nassau and Sept. 25 in Suffolk — when the new Federal Emergency Management Agency maps become official. For those who meet the deadlines, the rates should be less than $400 per year, which buys $250,000 in coverage for the house and $100,000 for its contents, said Denis Miller, a local expert on the subject and owner of Denis A. Miller Insurance in Long Beach.

Congress ordered FEMA to redraw the maps — and about 25,000 homes in Nassau and 325 in Suffolk have been reclassified into floodplain areas. Most of the homes moved into flood areas are in southern portions of Nassau County, and insurance brokers and government officials are trying to get the word out to homeowners who have not been notified by their lenders.

…Congress ordered FEMA to redraw its maps, based on updated topographical information on the “flood plain” — the normally dry areas where water will accumulate or flow during a 100-year flood event, such as that hurricane that ravaged portions of Long Island in September 1938….

Island Park on Long Island was destroyed by a breaker with a reported height of 30 to 40 feet. The New England Hurricane of 1938 traveled 600 miles in 12 hours, surprising southern New England and causing widespread destruction. In: The New England Hurricane, Federal Writers' Project of WPA, 1938.

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