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This past weekend, FEMA released the new flood elevation maps for those areas that were affected by Super Storm Sandy. Here you will be able to search by address and find out what the Advisory Base Flood Elevation (ABFE) is for that property. It is choked full of other information as well. After entering the address, and clicking “Get Details” you will not only get the new AFBE, it will also give you the old base elevation, as well as what Flood Zone the property is in. There are also numerous links to other reports and information regarding the elevation of the property.* While this is going to apply to any new homes that are built in flood zones, it will also apply to those homes that the are deemed to “substantially damaged” by the Township in which the property is located. On the Long Beach Township home page, they explain this a little more in the “Repair Your Flood Damaged Home” section about a quarter of the way down the page. They also explain that if the home is deemed to be substantially damage, you must now meet the the required flood elevation for that location. They also give some guidance as to what the Township will deemed as substantially damaged. Of course each town’s requirements may be slightly different, but this is an example what homeowners need to take into consideration when they are deciding what to do with their damaged homes. *Update as of December 19, 2012 – All owners should click on the “Link to AFBE Map” to view the actual map. It gives two different numbers as a base elevation, the 1% Elevation and the 2% Elevation. Here is a link to the definitions, but its essentially the percentage chance that the elevation will be breached by water in a given year. The general difference in feet between the two number are 4-5 feet. For example, our LBI office has a 1% advisory base elevation of 9 feet, and a 2% advisory base of 13 feet. These are the numbers to pay close attention to. We are hearing that Long Beach Township will adopt the 2% ABFE in their buiding ordinances, which means new homes and those deemed substantially damaged will have to raise their house to the 2% elevation. Regarding what is deemed substantially damaged, we are hearing that if the damage to your home is 49-50% of the buildings value, it will be deemed substantially damaged and be forced to comply with the flood regualtions. On Friday, Dec 21, 2012, Long Beach Township is expected to introduce its new FEMA ordinances, so stay tuned…
       Thanks to all of you who have reached out to wish us well during the aftermath of Sandy. We so appreciate your good thoughts coming our way. Our office is open and fully operational and has been since Saturday, November 10th, just days after the storm. We are thrilled that our building sustained no damage and because we are a fully electric structure, we are able to operate as per usual.   Even though 3/4 of our agents who live on LBI year round were displaced, we are back at work and here to help in any way we can.        Many of you have asked about the status of your vacation rental home. We are in the process of gathering that information right now. We have reached out to our homeowners and asked that they keep us informed as to the extent of any damage as well as to the repair schedule. We have heard from a number of owners whose properties were not damaged at all! As we hear that news, we are personally inspecting each of the homes to make sure the properties are fully accessible. Once we know that, we will begin writing leases for the 2013 season. Some of this will take time. If a property did sustain damage, owners need to be contacted by an insurance adjuster, estimates need to be gathered for repairs and the work needs to be scheduled.        We are very confident we will have a 2013 summer season and that all of our rental homes will be back to normal in time for spring. Unlike our neighbors to the north, our infrastructure is in good shape. New Jersey Natural Gas is making their way down the island and expects they will have gas restored to the entire island, with the exception of Holgate, by December 1st. The roadways in Holgate sustained more damage so that area will take a bit longer.        Some positive thoughts – Businesses are beginning to slowly open their doors. As you first come on to LBI, CVS and 7-11 are operational. Captain Johns Diner in Ship Bottom as well as the California Grill in Beach Haven Terrace opened their doors this past weekend. (Thank goodness, food is available for those of us working on LBI!) Also, the Engleside Bar/Restaurant in Beach Haven is now open.        If you have any specific questions, do not hesitate to contact us. We hope to see you soon on LBI!

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