Groups Pushing For FEMA Flood Map Changes

By Phil Gregory, WBGO News
April 5, 2013

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A couple of groups opposed to FEMA’s flood maps in New Jersey are trying to get them changed.

George Kasimos is the organizer of Stop FEMA Now. He says it’s important that the flood maps be finalized so residents know how to rebuild.

 “If I raise my home to a V zone level today, it would have cost a hundred thousand dollars extra. If in the future that elevation goes down, either the government or a private person spent that hundred thousand dollars needlessly, and that’s our problem.”

Ventnor Mayor Mike Bagnell is a member of the Coastal Coalition, a group of shore town officials. They also maintain that many areas now designed as V zones are not likely to suffer wave damage.

Bagnell is confident the FEMA maps will be changed.

“If the maps aren’t changed that could be the death of every oceanic community in the state because you’ll see property values plummet in the areas and people won’t be able to sell them because nobody is going to buy them if the insurance is going to cost more than the house.”

Stewart Farrell is the director of the Coastal Research Center at Stockton College.

He says the overland wave modeling that’s now being conducted will consider things other than elevation.

 “They have to calculate what the effect is of the wave hitting obstacles, roads, trees, shrubbery, phragmites, bulkheads, the rows of houses themselves.”

New maps based on those findings are expected in June.


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