In the past two to three years, GISCafe has run many stories about flood mapping and flood risk solutions that have proliferated since Hurricane Katrina and other flooding disasters have occurred. The technology that meets the demand for more accurate flood mapping has appeared to be a godsend to those attempting to do flood risk analysis and management tasks.
But for homeowners, the technology may not seem like such a great advancement. A five-year, $1 billion project by the Federal Emergency Management Agency to draw new maps pinpointing places that could be affected by the kind of flood that occurs once a century — meaning the flood has a 1 percent chance of occurring in any year – is prompting homeowners to have to go out and buy flood insurance.
For a lot of people, buying flood insurance is not something on their radar, and definitely not in the budget. As a result of this project, every county in the New York region has been remapped. In Monmouth County, NJ alone, 4,300 properties have been remapped and recast as flood-prone. Beginning September 25, those property owners will be required to carry flood insurance that could cost up to $1,700 per year. The areas in question are Middleton, Keansburg, Hazlet and Union Beach – communities that are generally comprised of blue-collar workers who do not generally have the extra money to spend on flood insurance.
New Flood Rules, With a Price Tag by Joseph Berger, September 4, 2009, The New York Times