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NJDEP Updates Elevation Standards and Flood Maps

On March 26, 2013 the Administration of Governor Christie filed an adoption package that will set new statewide elevation standards, based on flood maps by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). This package will keep an emergency rule from January 2013 in place. The update reflects the first change to New Jersey’s coastal county flood maps in twenty years. The update is meant to help protect the property and, most importantly, lives of residents in future storm surges.

On average the elevation requirements are two to four feet higher than the decades-old standards of the previous maps. The package also includes a rule allowing “wet flood-proofing” of nonresidential properties. Wet flood-proofing means that a building may still be flooded with water but has the structural integrity to withstand the surge. It is important to be aware that the maps released are advisory and are subject to change as the package is finalized, though residents may begin to rebuild accordingly before then. It is also important to be aware that though homes which sustained less than 50% damage do not have to be renovated now, owners may face significantly higher flood insurance costs as the maps become finalized. Further details may be found on the NJDEP’s initial release.

Lieberman & Blecher, P.C. has assisted victims of Superstorm Sandy in obtaining insurance coverage, seeking federal and state assistance, assessing and responding to environmental impacts and contaminations related to storm damage, and more. Our experienced and dedicated attorneys are here to answer any questions or concerns you have about damages and rebuilding from the storm.


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