N.J. Sierra Club says flooding area remapping could be made better
January 25, 2013By Tom MacDonald
New Jersey Governor Chris Christie is adopting FEMA's new flood maps to help prevent more properties from getting wiped out.
One environmental group thinks the action doesn't go far enough.
Since the old maps date back to the 1980s, Jeff Tittel of the New Jersey chapter of the Sierra Club says it's a good idea to update them. But he believes more work should be done to add new data, because even the new ones don't include everything.
"This is based on current data and it doesn't have the Hurricane Sandy in it, so the elevations may get higher and the flood plains may get larger," said Tittel. "They are a good foundation to start with but we actually need to build into it a margin of error and elevate it a bit higher."
Tittel says rebuilding higher to deal with future flooding is about public safety and not just insurance premiums.
"If someone rebuilds and they don't build to those elevations, they are not only putting themselves and their family in harms way but other people too because if their houses gets flooded and washed away it's going to impact other people and causes higher taxes and higher flood insurance for everybody else," he said.
Tittel says there needs to be more holistic management of beach resources to ensure they're around for future generations.