Sea Level Rise Tool for Sandy Recovery—New York City
Hurricane Sandy is a vivid reminder that coastal communities are vulnerable to the risk of damage from storms and flooding. Sea level rise increases the frequency and severity of coastal flooding in human and natural systems, even if storm patterns remain the same. FEMA provides information about flood risk based on current conditions. By statutory requirement, FEMA’s Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRMs) and other mapping products depict today's flood risk. Addressing flood risk based on current conditions has immediate, short-term benefits to communities, but does not adequately account for increasing flood risk resulting from sea level rise.
Post-Sandy recovery provides an opportunity to reduce vulnerability and increase resilience further into the future by incorporating sea level rise information into decisions about how and where to rebuild, or to start new development. Using the best available science and data, federal agencies have jointly developed this tool to help state and local officials, community planners, and infrastructure managers understand possible future flood risks from sea level rise and use that information in planning decisions.
The tool provides Sea Level Rise Maps for New York City, integrating the best available FEMA flood hazard data for each location with information on future sea level rise from two different peer-reviewed sources. The map services are complemented by a modified Sea-Level Change Calculator integrating FEMA's best available elevation data with the same two peer-reviewed sources of information on future sea level rise. The calculator provides site-specific detail on projected flood elevations for five-year intervals from 2010 to 2100.