SEASIDE HEIGHTS – To avoid delaying the rebuilding of the Shore, Gov. Chris Christie said Thursday he will immediately put in place the flood elevation advisory maps devised by the Federal Emergency Management Agency instead of waiting for the federal agency to approve them.
The maps will serve as the state standard, he said at a press conference here, and are designed to put in place uniform regulations as opposed to dealing with a “patchwork of local standards.”
By having buildings elevated, Christie said, residents will save on flood insurance costs in the long run.
Christie said the emergency action was needed because FEMA will not implement the new maps for as long as 24 months.
“(Residents and businesses can) rebuild immediately rather than having to wait months or years,” Christie said. “From my perspective waiting 18 to 24 months is unacceptable.”
By building according to the new standards, Christie said a “21st century Jersey Shore” that is “stronger and resilient” will be created.
If residents don’t comply with building according to the new elevation standards, they can face a $31,000 flood insurance premium. If they do build to the new standard, their annual flood insurance premiums could be between $3,500 and $7,000, he said
Some 3.8 million N.J. residents live in flood zone areas, he said.