Work with us
Wednesday, May 25, 2016
Hundreds of Long Beach homes need to be rebuilt
City says that homeowners can appeal damage assessments
The city said about 865 homes in Long Beach need to be either elevated or completely rebuilt.

Fred Vordermeier, 39, who moved to Long Beach from Manhattan with his wife in 2009 to raise a family, pays $3,600 a year for flood insurance. He said that the foundation of his East Chester Street home shifted and cracked during Hurricane Sandy, but his insurance company won’t cover the damage.

“We thought Long Beach would be an ideal place to raise a child until this happened,” said Vordermeier, who is now living in Long Island City with his wife and their 3-year-old daughter. “Our insurer said that it was the soil movement that caused the damage and not floodwater, so therefore the damage wasn’t covered. I can’t make any more repairs before the foundation is repaired; there’s no structural integrity.”

Although Vordermeier’s is not one of them, approximately 865 homes in Long Beach may have to be either elevated or completely rebuilt as a result of the storm, and homeowners who choose not to raise or demolish their homes could end up paying as much as $9,500 a year in flood insurance.

In late January, a team of 10 inspectors from the Federal Emergency Management Agency began assisting the city’s Building Department with its Increased Cost of Compliance inspections, and examined nearly 3,000 homes throughout the city, a process that was completed earlier this month.

New height requirements

FEMA now requires that any new home built in a flood zone meet specific height requirements. FEMA updated flood plain maps for Nassau County in 2009, and designated most of Long Beach a flood zone.

The agency’s National Flood Insurance Program requires that homes with more than 50 percent damage from Sandy be elevated to base flood elevation, which varies throughout the city from 8 to 17 feet above sea level. Any part of a home that is below that elevation cannot be habitable or house things like boilers, heating equipment or washing machines. The new rules, FEMA officials said, are intended to minimize flood losses. The city recently passed measures to increase the height limit of homes to 23 feet to comply with FEMA and New York state building code requirements.


11 comments on this story | Please log in to comment by clicking here
Please log in or register to add your comment

So many of us who have paid thousands for flood insurance are so angry at how the insurance companies have treated us. People who had no insurance received more from FEMA than we did after paying over $2200 a year for flood insurance- in addition to over $2200 a year for homeowners. I am very angry that people we know received $31000 from Fema because they had no insurance and we received less than that from our flood insurance - who took two deductibles from us, one for the building and one for contents. The fact that the insurance we had paid for is holding back money to hundreds of homeowners who paid for coverage and cannot move forward because they can't get paid is a disgrace.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013 | Report this

What they don’t mention is the farse that is the supposed promise of money from the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP). There has been much fanfare about HMGP and many people promising that money will be available under the HMGP to assist in rebuilding homes to comply with the current FEMA guidelines. What nobody is mentioning that HMGP won’t pay for any work that was already started or completed. FEMA must approve the project in advance and will reimburse the homeowner only after the work is done. They will not pay for completed mitigation work even if it was done in total compliance with the NY State and FEMA building codes and not started until after the disaster declaration.

Irene came to Long Beach on 08/29/12. No funds have been awarded under the HMGP from that disaster declaration over 18 months later. So what are homeowners supposed to do wait years before they start to rebuild for money that they may or may not be granted? They have not even started the promise with submitting projects to FEMA from Sandy five months later so how long will it take this time around . The restriction on retroactive payments was waived after Katrina and Rita in 2005. We need to urge all our lawmakers now to ask FEMA to make a commitment to the people that it will waive the no retroactive payments rule so that the rebuilding process can be expedited and homeowners would be encouraged to rebuild better and stronger knowing that they can at least apply for a grant in the future rather than waiting years to even start in hopes to get some reimbursement that may or not come in the end.

Here are some reference sources for you:

Here are the published notes from a Meeting Long Beach NJ had with FEMA regarding HMGP


Here you can download FEMA’s Hazard Mitigation Assistance Unified Guidance, see page 16 Section D.2 “Ineligible Activities”


Thursday, March 28, 2013 | Report this

Thanks CozeinLB! Great info. I was able to fine the "Limited Exception for Retroactive Approval" letter that allows for the rectroactive payments from the grant. http://www.fema.gov/library/viewRecord.do?id=5303 We need to get FEMA to do this for us right away! I called Senator Schumer’s office in Melville (631) 753-0978 and asked them to look into it! I am following up with an e-mail. I hope everyone who reads this calls his office.

Friday, March 29, 2013 | Report this

Not sure you should lift your house above the flood plain? Read this and reconsider.


Friday, March 29, 2013 | Report this

I have been told that I have to elevate my home, Why has Long Beach not applied to the Home Mitigation Grant Program so I can receive the funds that are available for me to do this ?

I am a homeowner who has paid flood insurance and Long Beach taxes for the last 20 + Years. Long Beach says that I must elevate what is left of house or be liable for exorbitant insurance payments. Insurance will not pay for elevation. Fema will not pay for anything.

Those who had no insurance continue to receive substantial assistance from Fema, Fema will not give me any assistance.

Monies are readily available for everything from rebuilding the boardwalk to streetscapes.

What about getting the residents back into their homes ? we are the one who pay the taxes.

Our politicians should take their heads out of the sand and help the people of Long Beach

Thursday, April 4, 2013 | Report this

Go Vordoz, it's time somebody told the truth..............

We are used to believing everything out elected officials tell us but the don't do anything for us.................

It is time for us to stand up for ourselves and make our politicians work for us................

What do you think ????????????

Call your local politician and ask them what we are paying them for,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

Friday, April 5, 2013 | Report this

Long Beach Herald

What are you doing about this ???????????


Friday, April 5, 2013 | Report this

We moved to Florida many years ago, and now I teach disaster planning...we have lived your nightmare 3 times now, and sorry to say it will be a long, hard, and unbelievable stressful journey for many of you...besides the insurance nightmares, the personal toll it will take on you the rest of your lives is beyond imagination. I really advise all of you dealing with this to take whatever stress counseling they offer you, and for your children.

Having grown up in Long Beach it tares my heart out to see this. We are doing what we can to help. Yes Long Beach will rebuild just as we did, but it will take a decade or more....and never be the same, some better some...not.

Sunday, April 7, 2013 | Report this

I heard NYS rising counts SBA loans as assistance whether you took it or not. So if you took out a loan or applied for one chances are you aint getting no money

That fund is best for lower income folk with no flood insurance who got turned down for a SBA loan. If you have flood insurance, a good job and got approved for a SBA loan you are last on line for any bucks.

Personally I would appeal the ICC determination if you cant afford to raise, get value of your house raised or insurance amount paid to under 50% that way you are better off. Or just buy a condo/coop third floor or higher if you like it there and sell

Friday, June 14, 2013 | Report this

Denis Kelly, an attorney and a former city councilman, said that his firm is representing about 100 homeowners who are pursuing claims against their insurance companies.

BTW who can I hire to sue Denis Kelly. As a tax payer he is asking all of us to chip in our funds for these 100 folks forcefully if he wins. Sandy Charity funds should help these folks.

Friday, June 14, 2013 | Report this

NYS Rising just got back to me. A caseworker to be assigned by Labor day.

So I am told any work you did already not covered most likely you will not be reimbursed. It will be if not covered by previous help and completed by licensed contractors and meeting the "green" requirements. I was also told dont fix anything any more, full stop. They may decide not to pay homeowners anything and pay from a approved list of licensed contractors directly to complete the work.

Also it still has to be your primary residence, you have to be current on taxes and you have to agree to keep it as your primary for certain period of time and Income counts against you as lower income goes first and they may run out of funds before they reach the higher income levels.

I ran out of funds for now and my contractor is busy with insurance jobs that pay more. He wont be free till spring anyhow. By then I will know what to do. I say 10% chance tops I get anything.

Funny how are folks supposed to take the tax write off for the casualty loss.

The deadline to complete your taxes if you filed an extension is October 15, 2013, on that day you have to put down the total $ casualty loss for sandy after backing out all Fema pmts, insurance and grants. It is cutting it tight.

Monday, July 22, 2013 | Report this
Terms of Use | Advertising | Careers | Contact Us | Community Links © 2016 Richner Communications, Inc.