What it's about:
New York City is redrawing its flood maps as the planet heats up.
The Flood Insurance Rate Maps detail flood zones in the densely populated city, and in conjunction with the U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the maps are being updated to take into account climate change developments.
The maps were last updated in the 1980s, according to the Observer newspaper. The latest amendments will detail high-risk areas and should be completed by 2021.
The maps will consider factors such as topography and properties likely to be hit by extreme weather and storms.
The new maps will have a direct impact on residents, as property owners with federally-backed mortgages on buildings in high-risk areas will have to buy flood insurance.
Once the maps are finalised, there will be a 90-day period when members of the public can appeal changes made to the maps, the Observer reports.
Why it's noteworthy:
New York City has been building its resilience to climate change and extreme weather for a number of years. The latest attempts to map out flood-prone areas and at risk- properties will go some way to preparing for major climate events.
The problem has been addressed with greater urgency since Superstorm Sandy struck parts of New York and New Jersey in 2012, killing 132 people.
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