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FEMA issues new rules to ensure building safety from flood damage

July 10, 2024 Brooklyn Eagle Staff
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NATIONWIDE — NEW RULES WILL SOON TAKE EFFECT TO ENSURE THAT BUILDING STRUCTURES can withstand flooding, The New York Times reported on Wednesday, July 8. FEMA will take new steps to ensure its building’s protection by mandating they be constructed to prevent flood damage; many are for public use, such as schools, hospitals, police stations, libraries, sewage treatment plants and bridges. The buildings must be elevated above the expected range of a flood or built in areas outside of flood zoning. Builders will be required to factor in risks as flooding becomes more extreme and frequent. The NYC Department of City Planning website includes maps and charts projecting sea rises due to climate change and other factors. Southern Brooklyn neighborhoods like Coney Island, Manhattan Beach and Marine Park are especially susceptible, as are waterfront neighborhoods Sunset Park and Bay Ridge.

Flood damage is likely to reach $40 billion in average annual losses this decade, according to Chad Berginnis, executive director of the Association of State Floodplain Managers. The new FEMA rule, originally initiated during the Obama administration, meets resistance from the construction industry.

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