It's been over four months since Hurricane Sandy hit New York and the city is still facing the repercussions of the storm. The World Trade Center site was no exception, suffering intense flooding of over 150 million gallons of water from the Hudson River. As a result, FEMA has declared the WTC site a flood zone area in its new flood map.
The WTC is one of thousands of newly declared flood sites. The number of buildings in flood zones has doubled from 35,000 to 70,000 in New York City alone. Many low-rise building owners are encouraged to elevate their properties, or they run the risk of having their flood-insurance increased. Properties worth $250,000 or more that have a ground floor built four feet below sea level can face insurance hikes to nearly $9,500 a year.
However, the city is unique in its number of skyscrapers, which cannot be elevated, and therefore, need alternative solutions to avoid the insurance increases. It is essential for high-rise building owners to abandon their basement levels or transfer their mechanical equipment to a higher floor.
Taking these precautions is necessary for the wellbeing of the city, despite New York's strong façade. The burden of lifting the buildings and equipment from the lower levels is minute in comparison to facing the damage again.
Now I wonder, how has the new flood zone map affected your building and insurance rates? Is your building getting a face-lift? I would love to hear your stories.