Updated federal flood maps of the New York City region issued earlier this week by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) have enlarged flood zones for many areas.

 

With the new maps, FEMA has placed 35,000 more homes and businesses in flood zones, doubling the present amount, the NY Times reported.

 

Buildings in the new flood zones, face flood insurance premiums 25 percent higher than before, but those same structures may be able to reduce rates by raising their elevations, FEMA stated.

 

Reports from FEMA say buildings damaged by Hurricane Sandy now classified in flood zones can be built 8 feet above a foundation, four feet higher than previous zoning regulations allowed.

 

Under the Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012, FEMA estimated that by building three feet higher than the flood line, an average house could reduce flood insurance costs from $9,500 to $427 a year.

 

The new maps replace those made 25 years ago, and the city will have up to two years to put them into formal use, FEMA reported.

To defray the high costs of rebuilding, FEMA said homeowners with federally backed insurance policies could receive up to $30,000 in additional reconstruction funds.