Hoboken, N.J., Mayor Urges Congress to Fix Flood Claim Rules

December 17, 2012

Hoboken, N.J., Mayor Dawn Zimmer told a U.S. Senate committee Hurricane Sandy caused $100 million in damages to the square-mile city across the Hudson River from Manhattan.

A flooded backyard in a Hoboken, N.J. neighborhood, on Nov. 1. The storm surge severely flooded much of Hoboken in immediate days after Sandy. Photo credit: Liz Roll/FEMA.

Zimmer testified before the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship on Dec. 13, where she urged lawmakers to fix rules preventing some from collecting on flood insurance claims.

The issue is properties located below street level.

People who live or have businesses in flood zones are required to carry flood insurance. But if the dwelling is even one or two steps below street level, the National Flood Insurance Program considers it a basement and FEMA limits claims to items like boilers and electrical panels.

Zimmer says the rules don’t reflect urban realities.

She appealed to Congress to fix the “flood insurance trap.”

Latest Comments

  • December 18, 2012 at 1:43 pm
    Expert says:
    Born and raised in one of the three-four story brownstones, and having been in real estate, I can assure you that many if not most of the buildings I'm referring to had baseme... read more
  • December 18, 2012 at 10:43 am
    Peter Jackson says:
    Maybe what you say about illegal apartments was true in the past. Since the mid to late 80's, many of these 3/4story building have been converted to condo's. Many have apartmn... read more
  • December 17, 2012 at 4:07 pm
    Expert says:
    The current exclusion (not present in the past) for damage to finished basements and contents in basements (which doesn't include equipment like furnaces, hot water heaters) i... read more
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