NEW YORK - Twice as many homes and businesses in and near the city would be in flood zones under new maps that may force more property-owners to buy flood insurance, complicate post-Superstorm Sandy rebuilding for some and confront others with the choice of building higher or paying considerably more for insurance.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency released the revised maps Monday. They're preliminary but will likely become a basis for changes to building laws and insurance requirements in coming years.
"What we're trying to do is provide the means, immediately, for people who want to move forward now to be able to do so," city Deputy Mayor Cas Holloway said. And for everyone else, he said, the information provides "time to think and plan what kind of changes they would want to make."
The maps represent one of the first concrete signals of how officials will carry out vows to rebuild smarter after Sandy and what that will mean for property owners.
Overall, the flood zones now cover 35,000 more homes and businesses, sweeping up more of the coastline and reaching farther inland. In Brooklyn, for example, the Seagate, Brighton Beach and Manhattan Beach neighborhoods are now included alongside already designated areas like Coney Island.