March 26, 2013 | 738 views
Expert shares advice on flood maps
Roughly 1,600 homes are coming out of the high-risk flood zone in July when the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s new maps take effect for Valley Stream, but more than 900 homes are to remain in the flood zone.
While many homeowners were happy to see that they wouldn’t be required to pay thousands of dollars in flood insurance premiums, other were less than pleased with the new maps.
On March 19, the Valley Stream Community Association hosted a meeting at Central High School for residents to ask questions about the flood maps to Greg de Bruin, of Gayron de Bruin Land Surveying and Engineering PC, based in Bethpage. De Bruin went over the new maps and offered advice to the approximately 25 people in the audience.
In 2009, the maps set a uniform base flood elevation of 11 feet, 4 inches in Valley Stream. That was the minimum property elevation for a home to be excluded from the flood zone. Under the new maps, BFEs are localized to neighborhoods, or even to individual streets and homes, and fall between eight and 10 feet, de Bruin said. “If you’re still in the flood zone,” he said, “FEMA is going to make you still prove that you’re high enough to not pay the ridiculous insurance.”
At the beginning of the meeting, Carol Crupi, the association’s president, said the homeowners living in the high-risk flood zone would probably pay $3,300 or more a year in mandatory insurance come July. She also said that residents within the X-zone, who have the option to buy flood insurance, would probably pay about $1,800 annually. Crupi, whose home will move into the X-zone, said that she does not plan on purchasing flood insurance because she doesn’t think her home will flood.
De Bruin explained that homeowners who wish to get out of the high-risk flood zone could appeal to FEMA by filing a Letter of Map Amendment after a surveyor measures their home’s BFE. “To get considered for a very low premium,” he said, “the lowest floor of your house has to be above [the BFE].”