32 THE QUEENS COURIER • NOVEMBER 2, 2017 FOR BREAKING NEWS VISIT WWW.QNS.COM
Pol: Flood insurance data should include Sandy survivors
BY EMILY DAVENPORT
email@example.com / @QNS
In the wake of Hurricanes Harvey, Irma
and Maria, the National Flood Insurance
Program (NFIP) is due be reauthorized
On Oct. 29, fi ve years aft er Hurricane
Sandy, Assemblywoman Stacey Pheff er
Amato and the Working Group she
formed in the aft ermath of Sandy came
out to outline what they’d like to see happen
when the NFIP is reauthorized.
“Insurance shapes the whole landscape
of resiliency and recovery,” said Pheff er
Amato. “Th at’s why I convened this
working group. Everyone on this team
rolled up their sleeves from Day One in
2012. Now they have fi ve years of experience
under their belt – rendering aid,
cleaning up, comforting their neighbors,
rebuilding, lobbying for help, swapping
best practices, wrestling with bureaucracy,
fi ghting with insurance companies on
behalf of their families and communities.
Insurance impacts us long-term, steering
where people live and can aff ord to continue
to live; it touches on every aspect of
recovery and rebuilding.”
Pheff er Amato and the Working
Group, which is composed of stakeholders
from impacted communities in south
Queens, note that their input valuable
to the national debate. Following the
aft ermath of Hurricane Sandy, they are
informed by the successes and shortcomings
of the existing NFIP as it applied
to New York City, plus fi ve years of follow
up action to rebuild in the storm’s
In a letter to Congresswoman Maxine
Waters, ranking member of the House
Committee on Financial Services, Pheff er
Amato has outlined the most important
priorities for NFIP reauthorization, from
the perspective of survivors of Hurricane
• Grandfathering rules – the carry-over
of prior rates – should be maintained
under the reauthorization.
• Th e claims process must be reformed.
• Increased accountability of NFIP contractors,
including a provision that
would require engineering reports
for any claim for losses covered by
the NFIP to be provided to the policy
holder, as well as a provision requiring
annual reviews of engineering fi rms
participating in the NFIP.
Photo courtesy of the Offi ce of Assemblywoman Stacey Pheff er Amato
• Additional funding to fi nish the FEMA
maps, along with improved map accuracy.
• Maps should show present risk as well
as future risk.
• Inconsistent rate quotes must be corrected
via enforcement and other mechanisms.
• Flood Zone communities nationally
need funding for mitigation eff orts.
• Th ere should be expanded mitigation
options and credits.
• Th ere should be caps on the mandatory
required premiums and vouchers for
low-income homeowners, to keep the
cost of premiums and fees from pricing
people out of their communities.
• Elevation certifi cate reimbursements
should be provided for homeowners
who need them.
• Renewal should be on a fi ve-year horizon,
• Th ere must be a full and thorough
FEMA report, which currently has no
mention of Sandy claims.
“Th is working group convened by
Assembly member Pheff er Amato has
been a great success because it has connected
government offi cials with Queens
residents who are experiencing the negative
eff ects of ever-increasing fl ood
insurance rates,” said Queens Borough
President Melinda Katz. “Together
we have come up with strong legislative
recommendations for improving
and strengthening the National Flood
Insurance Program. Assembly member
Pheff er Amato and all those who have
been a part of the working group deserve
to be commended for developing commonsense
proposals that would better
protect Queens residents.”
5 years after Sandy, mayor announces $145M
project to strengthen Rockaway shoreline
BY ANGELA MATUA
firstname.lastname@example.org / @AngelaMatua
In 2012, Superstorm Sandy wreaked
havoc on waterfront communities in
Queens and exposed the vulnerability residents
could face when future storms hit.
On Oct. 29, fi ve years aft er the hurricane,
Mayor Bill de Blasio announced
a number of initiatives to help the
Rockaways withstand future fl ooding and
storms. In total, the city will fund seven
resiliency projects for $145 million.
According to offi cials, though $480 million
were allocated to fund the Rockaway
Beach boardwalk reconstruction the project
cost $360 million. Th e remaining $120
million will help fund the remaining seven
projects and Queens Borough President
Melinda Katz along with other public and
private sources will pitch in $25 million.
Projects will range from repairing existing
infrastructure to creating new parks
with seawalls and other features to help
mitigate fl ood damage.
“Th ese investments are an important
step forward for Rockaways residents,
connecting them with parks and the
waterfront, while helping shield them
from future storms,” the mayor said. “Th e
community will see a lot they will like in
newly renovated parks, and will feel safer
because of the fl ood protections that will
be built in. New York is building this kind
of smart infrastructure to fi ght climate
change and inequality at the same time, so
future generations will inherit a city that’s
more resilient and just.”
Bayswater Park in Far Rockaway will
receive a makeover that includes a berm
along the waterfront, new sports fi elds,
play areas, a public plaza, refurbished
bathrooms and access to kayaks.
Another project will raise the shoreline
around Edgemere, which spans Beach
32nd Street to Beach 52nd Street. New
vegetated berms and bulkheads will also
be installed to reduce coastal fl ooding in
the event of another storm.
Shore Front Parkway, which housed
several recreational facilities that were
destroyed during Superstorm Sandy, will
receive six new facilities.
Th e shorelines surrounding Rockaway
Community Park in Far Rockaway will
be raised and the native wetlands will be
A new play facility, Beach 88th Street
Park in Rockaway Beach, will include a
new seawall, restored wetlands, play and
seating areas and access to kayaks.
A vacant lot in Arverne will be transformed
into Th ursby Basin Park, which
will include a seawall, resilient vegetation,
sports courts, play equipment and a
Lastly, the Parks Department’s operations
headquarters for the Rockaways and
Broad Channel will be elevated to make
sure staff can respond to future storms.
Public scoping meetings to gather input
from Queens residents about designs will
begin in the spring and summer of 2018.
In response to Hurricane Sandy, the
Offi ce of Recovery and Resiliency was
created to embark on an expansive resiliency
project. Th e OneNYC climate resiliency
program includes $20 billion worth
of projects across the fi ve boroughs to
prepare New York City for future storms.
Rendering courtesy of Parks Department
Mayor Bill de Blasio announced a number of resiliency initiatives for Rockaway Park including a new
Beach 88th Street Park.