Some of the people whose homes were damaged or destroyed by Superstorm Sandy in the New York City area may now face the choice of rebuilding higher, or paying considerably more for insurance.
Under new flood maps released Monday by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, twice as many homes and businesses in and near the city would be in flood zones.
The maps are preliminary, but they are likely to be the basis for changes to building laws and insurance requirements. They represent one of the first concrete signals of how officials will carry out their vows to rebuild smarter in the aftermath of Sandy.
More property owners could be forced to buy flood insurance and rebuilding from the storm will be more complicated for others.
The key zones on the maps indicate how far above sea level a building's ground floor would have to be, in order to withstand flooding from a storm so strong that it has just a 1 percent chance of happening in any given year.
A deputy mayor says New York is looking to encourage owners of damaged properties to rebuild.