Christie Sets Regulations For Sandy Rebuilding
By Phil Gregory, WBGO News
Seaside Heights. January 24, 2013
New Jersey is adopting advisory flood maps the federal government released last month to guide the rebuilding from Hurricane Sandy.
Governor Chris Christie has signed emergency regulations making the maps a statewide standard to provide guidelines for constructing and elevating buildings in flood hazard areas.
He says building to the higher standards will help make properties safer and help residents save on their flood insurance premiums.
“If you choose not to you’ll have to sustain especially if required by your bank or your mortgage company to have flood insurance, you’re going to have to sustain then the higher flood insurance costs which could be multiples, seven or eight times higher than what you pay now.”
Christie says the maps ensure coastal communities will be reconstructed to be more resilient in future storms.
Toms River Mayor Tom Kelleher says the costs of rebuilding may be too much for some residents who may decide to just walk away from their damaged homes.
“I know one particular widow who’s in her late 70s, limited income, the Barnegat Bay came right through her house. Everything wound up in the street. No insurance, she can’t afford to fix it, she can’t afford to buy all new furniture, and she lost her car, and she’s moving out of state with her daughter.”
Brick Township Mayor Steve Acropolis says elevating a small ranch home could cost $50,000 and it would be a lot more to raise lager homes.
“The most important thing is the announcement that there’s going to be some really big money flowing into the state, the community development block grant money. That’s going to give people a little bit of peace of mind to know that if I don’t have the money to rebuild right now, we’re hoping in the next six to nine months that money will start flowing to homeowners and they’ll be able to make some of those decisions.”
The says the goal is to get rebuilding underway to make the shore habitable. He says it may take until the summer of 2014 to return it to the way it was before the storm.
© 2013 WBGO News
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