Gov. Kathy Hochul tours a storm-damaged apartment in Inwood. The heavy rains of Tropical Storm Ida forced part of a parking garage to collapse and damaged a ground floor apartment, and vehicle, on West 218th Street. Photo: Kevin P. Coughlin / Office of Governor Kathy Hochul on Flickr
President Joe Biden on Monday approved a major disaster declaration for New York, making federal funding available to residents and businesses in counties affected by flooding last week caused by the remnants of Hurricane Ida. According to an early estimate from state officials, Ida caused $50 million in damage to public property and to more than 1,200 residences. In addition to the financial relief provided by FEMA, there are several resources available to New Yorkers who need help in the aftermath of the storm, including temporary shelter, food and basic needs, and cash assistance.
Photo: Patrick Cashin / MTA New York City Transit
A recent rule change by the Federal Emergency Management Agency could take away funding for disinfecting subway cars and city schools, Sen. Chuck Schumer said on Thursday. New guidance from the agency says states need to cover the costs of disinfectants, personal protective equipment, temperature scanners, and other cleaning-related items that have been reimbursed by FEMA since March, the start of the coronavirus pandemic in the U.S. Schumer called the change a “downright dirty decision” made during a time when New York and the rest of the country continues to fight against the spread of the virus.
Red Hook after Sandy; Photo by Michael Fleshman on Flickr
Seven years after Hurricane Sandy hit New York City, a majority of the city’s public housing developments damaged by the storm have not been repaired. Of the 35 NYCHA complexes wrecked in 2012, totaling roughly 200 buildings, upgrades have been completed at just two of them, THE CITY reported Tuesday. The slow recovery at sites in Red Hook, Coney Island and the Lower East Side stems from a lack of federal funding and shady contracts. Details here
Designed by Philip Johnson for the 1964-65 World’s Fair to embody the architectural essence of Space Age futurism, the New York State Pavilion has been battered by the ensuing decades to the point of becoming valued as an “historic ruin.” As 6sqft previously reported, plans to restore the site have been progressing slowly even with new funding from the city. Now, Curbed reports, the iconic site in Flushing, Queens, will be getting a $16.5 million grant from FEMA for Hurricane Sandy-related repairs.
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A Howard Beach home after Hurricane Sandy, photo courtesy of Pamela Andrade’s Flickr
For the first time since 1983, the Federal Emergency Mangement Agency is redrawing New York’s flood maps, taking into account the consequences of climate change like rising sea levels and stronger storms. With hundreds of miles of coastline and a growing number of developments sprouting along its waterfront, New York has more residents living in high-risk flood zones than any other city in the United States, according to the New York Times. FEMA’s new map, while still years away from completion, could have a profound effect on the city’s future developments and zoning regulations. It could place more residents and buildings in high-risk flood zones, requiring pricey flood insurance as well as tougher building codes and restrictions on new developments.
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In a post-Sandy world, waterfront residents are faced with the choice of whether or not to raise their homes. Some may worry about the esthetics of this type of renovation, but Bates Masi + Architects‘ Northwest Harbor residence shows that raised homes can be strikingly beautiful.
The green-minded firm works with the environment and not against it. Instead of modifying this East Hampton terrain, they allowed the natural landscape to take the lead. The stunning result is supported by 16 sturdy stilts that raise this wooden dwelling right above an unsettling floodplain terrain while improving the overall environmental quality of the unique wooden home.
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Since FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) updated its flood-zone maps after Superstorm Sandy, we learned that it could cost the city $5 billion to comply with the new regulations, as 60,000 additional buildings were identified as being within the flood zones. This brings the total to 84,000 buildings worth over $129 billion, according to a new report released by the Office of New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer on the two-year anniversary of Hurricane Sandy.
What does this mean for the city?
Following Superstorm Sandy, FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) updated its flood-zone maps for the first time since 1983, more than doubling the included buildings to 70,000. Therefore, many more property owners are facing the decision of whether to stormproof their homes or pay up for insurance premiums that would go up as much as 18%. But going with the former choice is not as easy as one may think.
FEMA guidelines don’t take into account the unique makeup of New York City with its rowhouses and high-rises, so to comply with the current regulations it would cost the city more than $5 billion, according to studies produces by Crain’s. Those who would be absorbing the costs include middle-class homeowners; NYCHA, which owns more than 25% of rental units in the flood zone ;and owners of large apartment towers, which account for 61% of the 5.5 million properties in FEMA’s National Flood Insurance Program. All of these entities must follow the same guidelines as the plan is laid out now, but the city and a group of nonprofits are asking the agency to make changes to the insurance program.
More about the issue ahead