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FEMA Trying to Reduce NJ Flood-Prone Areas

(Michael Bocchieri/Getty Images)

The Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) is set to release updates to the Advisory Base Flood Elevation maps for Middlesex County. The updated “work maps” will reduce the amount of acreage designated in high-flooding risk V-zones by approximately 80 percent.

“I’m very pleased by FEMA’s response to Middlesex County residents who can look forward to a more accurate assessment of the potential flood dangers to their properties, and a greater ability to prepare for future severe weather events,” says U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez. “For many New Jersey residents, these work maps mean the difference between staying in their homes and relocating, and they provide some sense of certainty for those homeowners who are struggling to rebuild.”

On May 13, Menendez said he found FEMA’s original flood maps for New Jersey counties to be significantly flawed because they did not incorporate wave analysis when they were created, and he urged FEMA to release more accurate work maps that included this data.

A month later, FEMA released updated working maps for Atlantic, Hudson, Ocean and Monmouth counties.  These new maps significantly reduced the number of properties included in high-flooding risk V-zones which had many residents concerned about the affordability of staying in their homes.

“I’m pleased that FEMA has revised the flood maps using better data to more accurately represent the flood zones of Middlesex County,” says U.S. Rep. Frank Pallone. “It’s wrong to put New Jerseyans in a situation where they are unnecessarily paying sky-high insurance rates, especially given the costs of rebuilding from Sandy.”

With the pending release of work maps for Middlesex County, updated work maps are still needed in Bergen, Burlington, Cape May, Essex, and Union counties to ensure homeowners can accurately determine the flood risks they face.

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