Reporting Jenn Bernstein
By Jenn Bernstein
SEASIDE HEIGHTS, NJ (CBS) — Bob Pizzuti is glad Hurricane Sandy left the third floor of his Seaside Heights home intact, but his second and first floors weren’t so lucky.
The former chief of the Montclair Fire Department built his ocean view home almost eight years ago with his wife, so that they could enjoy retirement.
“Now I have to rebuild it again,” said Pizzuti.
Pizzuti is also considering making his home more flood-proof this time around. “If I get a chance, I might raise the house,” said Pizzuti, “but other than that, I haven’t seen the new FEMA rules.”
FEMA recently released their preliminary advisory based flood maps for the Jersey Shore. These updated guidelines suggest structure heights to make buildings more flood resistant.
On Thursday, Governor Chris Christie made an announcement in Seaside Heights that the state is immediately making those updated recommendations state rules.
“This is what we need to do to build a 21st-century Jersey Shore,” said Governor Christie.
FEMA’s suggestions will not be finalized for another 18 to 24 months, but Governor Chris Christie has decided to adopt the rules now to guide homeowners as they rebuild. It’s an effort, he says, to make their homes safer and to help them save on insurance costs in the future.
Many residents voiced concerns about the additional cost of raising their homes, but Governor Christie says it’s better to adopt the new standards now rather than later.
“Rebuilding to the old standards exposes you to the risk of insurance premiums that, one example, [are] as high as $31,000 to have flood insurance,” said Christie.