Christie adopts FEMA base flood elevations

Written by SHAUN SMITH Monday, January 28, 2013 11:58 am

Attention: open in a new window. PrintE-mail

FEMA offers grants to raise homes 

VENTNOR – Gov. Chris Christie took action Thursday to adopt the Advisory Base Flood Elevation maps in an effort to give certainty to residents rebuilding or elevating their homes following Hurricane Sandy.

According to a press release issued by the Governor’s Office Thursday, Jan. 24, that day Christie signed emergency regulations to adopt the maps to establish procedures and requirements in flood hazard areas.

According to FEMA, the Advisory Base Flood Elevation reflects the 1 percent-annual-chance flood elevations and zones. This is the scientific data representing the chance of a 100-year storm. FEMA has created an interactive map at to find the ABFE for any address. According to FEMA, updated Flood Insurance Rate Maps are expected to be released around June of this year and will determine how a home’s first floor elevation can affect its insurance premium.

An example provided by FEMA and the Governor’s Office describes a situation which a property owner who is four feet below the Base Flood Elevation in the higher threat “V zone” and takes no action can anticipate a phased-in annual premium of $31,000. If the same home were built to BFE standards, the annual phased in premium would be $7,000 and if built to 2 feet above BFE, the premium would be approximately $3,500 annually.

Officials in Margate were proactive in incorporating the ABFE into the city code and expects to adopt those new regulations at a special meeting 4 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 31. Zoning and construction officials in Margate have said the zoning changes in their town allow residents to have flexibility in choosing to whether to adhere to the advisory figures. The ordinance, if approved, would allow residents to build the first floor elevation to between .3 and 5.3 feet higher than existing and also allow its height restriction to be measured by the first floor elevation, not ground elevation.

In Ventnor, a measure was recently passed to allow storm damaged single family structures to raise its finished first floor elevation 2 feet above the base flood elevation map requirements established by FEMA.

FEMA is currently offering Hazard Mitigation Grants for residents to protect structures including elevating homes above the base flood elevation and flood proofing non-residential structures.

If approved, the federal government will provide 75 percent of the cost and resident would be required to pay 25 percent of the total cost. FEMA is also offering up to $30,000 for an Increased Cost of Compliance to flood insurance policyholders in high-risk areas that could be used to raise a home to compliance if their homes sustained 50 percent of its assessed value in damage or it has been deemed to have sustained substantial damage.

In Margate, more than 350 residents applied requested to be part of its hazard mitigation program grant application prior to its Jan. 22 deadline.

Ventnor and Longport are working together on its grant application and the deadline is noon, Monday, Feb. 4. Longport Building Department can be reached at (609) 822-0569, ext. 114 and the Ventnor Building Department can be reached at (609) 823-7987. 

blog comments powered by Disqus
back to top