Time to Prohibit vulnerable coastal (re)construction
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Started by tjc - Oct. 2, 2022, 1:50 p.m.

  I am not cold hearted, and do believe in aiding most decimated by Ian (but it was insurable), but it is time to prohibit anyone from being allowed to rebuild in vulnerable coastal areas.  It is economically unjustifiable to allow continued occupation of some coastal locations.  Hurricanes are predictable and the costs are subject to insurable risks, but not so the potential for loss of life of first responders.

  In my midwest community, repeated flooding in low lying areas resulted in compensation to victims, but they were required to relocate.  Ottawa, Il now has 'new' parks and the only risk is to picnic tables!

  Will compensated individuals be required to exit surge zone areas??

By metmike - Oct. 2, 2022, 2:01 p.m.
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This is a profoundly important discussion. Thanks!

Did you want it on the other forum. It's great down here but just wanted to make sure.

Building In A Flood Zone: 11 Things (2022) You Must Know


By tjc - Oct. 2, 2022, 7:12 p.m.
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Very informative link.

I guess it is now up to local municipalities to enforce zoning and building permit applications.

After Irma and Ian, this 'northerner' can not imagine applications being regranted.  WON'T insurance rates and zones be re-evalutated with either no insurance coverage or prohibitive cost?

By 7475 - Oct. 2, 2022, 8:25 p.m.
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The powers- that- be aren't fooling around with these requirements and neither are the insurance companies.

Doesn't matter if you think they are infringing on your rights or not - The rules are on the books and  professionals have been hired to inspect to ensure you comply.

 So if you plan to be involved in these "danger zones " , be careful and comply.

 Your compliance or not affects other people's money (taxes) FEMA ,Fed flood insurance . Seems so funny that  concern over spending tax dollars , at times , is #1 priority and other times .........?

By 7475 - Oct. 2, 2022, 8:44 p.m.
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 If you comply with those regs seen via mm's link ,you are allowed to build most everywhere unless there is an environmental reason such as disrupting migration or breeding of wildlife etc etc.

Yes , the insurance is a bit costly but these areas are usually very desirable water / shore communities favoring the :higher end". people pay booku bucks for this stuff.

 We rebuilt most of the jersey shore after Sandy and BOY did we have some lessons to learn about this stuff.!


By tjc - Oct. 3, 2022, 8:42 p.m.
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  So basically we have not learned anything?

  But if you have enough $ and are self insured, should anyone care?

  Is this what you are saying?

By 7475 - Oct. 3, 2022, 10:44 p.m.
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Thats how it seems to work - but hasnt it always been that way ?

Guess we're struggling forward , eh?

By metmike - Oct. 4, 2022, 2:34 p.m.
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I totally see TJC's point.

To be specific, you can make buildings extremely sturdy and hurricane proof for major structural damage up to XXX winds and they do that in Florida much of the time.

But there is nothing to protect you from a storm surge like this.  You might be able to build a big barrier(wall) along the coast but the water is going to still get in unless the wall is  many dozens of miles long and that would destroy the aesthetics of the coast for which people want to live there for and if the storm surge tops the wall.........all the water pours in anyway.......so, never mind (-:

And people will always have big boats and yachts which you can't just load up and move inland ahead of a hurricane in most cases.

One thing that can help is to elevate the height of the buildings numerous feet. This is already done to some extent and there may be a limit based on local code but adding 5 feet to the height of a building will mean 5 feet less of water getting into the homes. 

Another thing is that a storm surge of this magnitude is extremely rare for one location. Even if we have them every year, at several different locations, the odds that it will be YOUR location and a huge one are tiny for any individual year.

Some awesome data/graphics displayed at this link!

This is just for hurricanes, including minimal ones below:


[Map of return period in years for hurricanes passing within 50 nautical miles]

Estimated return period in years for hurricanes passing
within 50 nautical miles of various locations on the U.S. Coast


[Map of 1900-2010 Major Hurricane Strikes by U.S. counties/parishes]

1900-2010 U.S. Major Hurricane Strikes


August TC Climatology


                Ian's death toll/Extreme Storm Surge/Contribution from Climate Change        



By metmike - Oct. 4, 2022, 2:39 p.m.
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These is articles do not really focus on this issue but has some good information.

Urban Land  Institute

Ten Principles forCoastal Development


How to Protect Your Property from a Storm Surge


By metmike - Oct. 4, 2022, 2:59 p.m.
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This site/link has some profoundly informative information

Facts + Statistics: Hurricanes


Not sure why the top list  cut/pastes upside down.

Storm Surge Risk By State By Number Of Single-Family Homes and Reconstruction Value, 2020 (1)             

  Number of single-family homes at risk by storm category (2)
RankStateCategory 1Category 2Category 3Category 4Category 5
19New Hampshire1934,0697,0749,3369,336 (3)
18Maine5,6577,91211,96918,14918,149 (3)
17Rhode Island1,3967,97917,34526,33626,336 (3)
15Delaware10,85531,05749,10367,05567,055 (3)
14Connecticut6,70827,92146,18667,43367,433 (3)
13Pennsylvania84721,37858,92185,79485,794 (3)
11Maryland16,09159,21498,757126,589126,589 (3)
10Massachusetts8,10242,83297,083151,979151,979 (3)
8North Carolina33,25497,694165,266216,446267,802
7South Carolina37,107132,728219,420308,387363,875
5New York76,805228,069351,937467,787467,787 (3)
4New Jersey95,473277,147381,388471,323471,323 (3)
 Total homes
potentially affected


Reconstruction cost value of single-family homes at risk (2), (4) ($ millions)
RankStateCategory 1Category 2Category 3Category 4Category 5
3New York30,410.995,248.1146,867.2196,107.2196,107.2 (3)
4New Jersey27,523.284,974.9119,707.6150,599.6150,599.5 (3)
7South Carolina10,447.735,063.955,589.275,121.486,468.7
8North Carolina7,178.221,277.736,350.347,968.259,542.6
9Massachusetts2,306.812,658.029,179.047,309.547,309.5 (3)
11Maryland3,878.314,151.323,657.930,518.830,518.8 (3)
12Connecticut2,344.59,635.715,669.622,538.422,538.4 (3)
13Pennsylvania193.85,120.614,596.021,349.821,349.8 (3)
15Delaware3,082.88,693.813,892.818,943.918,943.9 (3)
17Rhode Island350.22,339.35,080.97,761.37,761.3 (3)
18Maine1,314.91,892.62,949.94,589.94,589.8 (3)
19New Hampshire35.2713.91,434.12,038.92,038.9 (3)
 Total homes
potentially affected

Top 10 Most Significant Flood Events By National Flood Insurance Program Payouts (1)         

   metmike:  The 2nd column is in MILLIONS of dollars. So 16,092 is actually 16,092,000,000. 16+ billion.
You just add 6 additional 0s to each number.

RankDateEventNumber of
paid losses
Amount paid
($ millions)
paid loss
1Aug. 2005Hurricane Katrina168,256$16,092 $95,640 
2Sep. 2017Hurricane Harvey78,2549,171117,192
3Oct. 2012Superstorm Sandy132,8978,61964,852
4Sep. 2008Hurricane Ike47,2472,67056,517
5Aug. 2016Louisiana severe storms and flooding27,7372,53691,432
6Sep. 2004Hurricane Ivan31,9811,68852,791
7Sep. 2021Hurricane Ida28,5441,58955,658
8Sep. 2004Hurricane Jeanne31,4861,51348,062
9Aug. 2011Hurricane Irene44,1781,32129,894
10Sep. 2017Hurricane Irma23,1191,15349,884

By tjc - Oct. 5, 2022, 7:56 p.m.
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  Somewhat ironic, but while working out at the  local YMCA, my retired classmate, who was director of our county health and environment, in charge of issuing building permits and helping to provide rules/ordinances thereon, commented to me , "Sanibel Island, where Deb and I were in October 2021, is GONE.  Hope they impose more stringent building protection/elevation before they allow reconstruction".  "Cost  is going to be outrageous, very long term, but I hope they will be more insightful before construction resumes."

  IF, IF a 'northerner' gets it, I hope all previously 'grandfathered, but non-compliant' buildings  are required to meet updated location and height requirements.

  Otherwise, more parks!

By 7475 - Oct. 5, 2022, 8:47 p.m.
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I understand ,grandfathered or not , if reconstruction costs exceed 50% of the DWELLING value , current codes will have to be satisfied. I’m not sure if that’s related to federal monetary help (FEMA) also but New Jersey codes state such. 

By metmike - Oct. 9, 2022, 11:49 a.m.
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Rebuild or relocate? Hurricane Ian survivors lean toward staying


Hurricane Ian gave southwest Floridians plenty of reasons to leave: It killed at least 115 people, crushed countless homes and businesses, turned area waterways into toxic soups and caused at least $50 to $65 billion in damages.

But as residents and business owners assess the devastation and reach for insurance policies that may or may not cover all of their losses, there appears to be an emerging consensus for rebuilding, and not relocating to areas perceived to be less vulnerable to catastrophic storms.

It is a mindset, analysts say, driven by a long-standing affinity for Gulf Coast living, a strong resolve among public and private sector interests, and a growing tolerance of devastating hurricanes as life disruptors.

[ RELATED: Frustration and desperation mount as Hurricane Ian’s effects linger ]

“We have already been contacted by numerous clients and potential clients,” said Oscar Rivera, managing shareholder of the Siegfried Rivera law firm in Miami, which represents condominium owners, associations and commercial real estate investors. “Everyone we have spoken to is committed to rebuilding.”

And Tony Argiz, senior managing partner at BDO Miami, a financial advisory firm, surmised that the federal government might conclude that flood-damaged coastal areas are too costly for insurance to replace.

“They might not want people to rebuild right on the shoreline,” he said.

metmike: BINGO!

Not on the shoreline where most of the storm surge damage was this time!

limit building where storm surge risk is highest!

By bear - Oct. 11, 2022, 12:59 a.m.
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just my opinion.  if you want to build in a high risk area,  then uncle sam should NOT subsidies your insurance. 

just make people get insurance in the regular free market.  that would cost enough that folks would not build expensive homes on the cost.  

do NOT make taxpayers in iowa pay taxes to rebuild that rich persons home in florida.