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FEMA Agrees To Revise New York City Flood Maps

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — When the feds came out with new flood maps for New York City, thousands worried skyrocketing insurance bills would force them to move.

Now, the Federal Emergency Management Agency has agreed to reconsider.

FEMA’s flood maps unveiled in early 2015 would have put 35,000 more homes in at risk areas, including Paul Doyle’s home in Rockaway Park, Queens.

“I was considered on a higher area of the peninsula, now all of a sudden I’m not?” Doyle told WCBS 880’s Alex Silverman. “Senior citizens, you’re looking at people with children in grammar school, high school, now all of a sudden, you could be looking at a $15,000 to $20,000 flood insurance bill.”

In 30 years, Doyle said his house flooded just once. That was four years ago during Superstorm Sandy.

“The only reason I took water was because a closet door of one of the big homes on the ocean came through my daughter’s window,” Doyle said.

In 2015, the de Blasio administration appealed FEMA’s flood risk calculations and asked the agency to base the maps on the current risk, not future projections. The agency has agreed to at least go back and take another look at the method, Silverman reported.

“We are building a stronger, more resilient city to confront climate change. Our city needs precise flood maps that reflect real risks, both today and years from now—and we have to do that fairly,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said. “We will work closely with FEMA to ensure New Yorkers in the floodplain are prepared, and that the tools to make them more resilient, like flood insurance, remain available and affordable. We are grateful to FEMA to agreeing to this partnership.”

Doyle said it’s great news, but he’s still concerned about how much he and his children will have to pay down the line just to stay in Rockaway Park.

“It’s all about the insurance companies,” Doyle said.

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