When Kyle and Lynn Tanger were willing to buy a property on the seaward side
the Chesapeake Bay a few years ago, they knew it would be necessary
renovation.

But Alexandria early couple discovered the Cambridge, Maryland. The town was even more problematic: flooding, not just hurricanes.

“There are great things about the water, but there is too much
we are not looking forward to water, ”said Kyle Tanger.

So, when Dorchester County told them they had to raise the cottage during renovations because it was in a flood zone, the Tangers decided to go higher than required. That’s because Tanger, a sustainability consultant, said it’s not just about ordinary flooding, but what will happen down the road from climate change.

“I don’t think there’s a debate about climate change. The debate
really, how big is the trouble we get from him, ”he said
said.

These are Tangers among Marylanders and Virginians who have
refurbishment or construction of new properties in coastal flood zones in recent years. But
where it relates to construction needs in those areas at risk, Team I News4
there was little common ground.

Under the Federal Emergency Agency’s National Flood Insurance Program, the federal government sets minimum height requirements for properties built or extensively renovated in tidal flood zones. However, these requirements are based on maps that assess current flood risk.

In states such as Maryland and Virginia, local governments are obliged to impose stricter building standards – such as an additional elevation, known as a freeboard – to account for future flooding from rising seas.

The I-Team got that extra there are elevation requirements between counties and even municipalities. A survey of more than two coastal county ditches and towns in Maryland and Virginia found most of the legs required at least. Some of them, such as York City, Virginia, or Ocean City, Maryland, go as high as 3 feet. Some do not need any extra feet, such as Oceanfront Worcester County, Maryland.

FEMA spokesperson told News4 that while the community agency participating in the National Flood Insurance Program encourages additional free-standing requirements and offers incentives to those who do, it cannot implement them without the implementation of Congress.

“It’s all about what your local government is willing to do
accepted, ”said Brian Soper, environmental planner with Dorchester County.

More than a federal minimum can help lower community flooding
insurance rate, he said, and homeowners who choose to go even further
there may be a premium reduction.

This saving can “be the right person for the right person”
fence about how high to build, he said.

Dorchester approved a 2 foot free programming requirement in 2011, but after some News4 said that it had been a fictitious political fight for many years.

Many local government officials are seeking further imposition
construction needs of its residents, some experts said with News4, because
fear that it may discourage development and influence its tax base for concern
could reverse their chances of re-election.

“No one likes to have such a regulation imposed on them,” t
Joe Fehrer, project manager for coastal communities with Maryland / DC
chapter of Nature Conservation. “But the same, the government, the government
it is charged with protecting its citizens. ”

The acute problem is particularly along Maryland and Virginia
coasts, where scientists say sea level is not only rising, that the land
sinking.

The East Coast Land Conservation report 2019 found that sea level rise in the Chesapeake Bay region has been “double the global average” over the past fifty years, “due to the increased impact of land subsidence.” T

And the 2017 Union of Associated Scientists report, by 2035, predicts flooding due to rising sea levels and undergrounding. “These communities include Crisfield, in Somerset County, which understands the non-profit that flooding could occur more than 26 times a year by then.

Meanwhile, the
The building continues. In the unincorporated county of Worcester, for example, records
more than 130 building licenses for new houses were shown to be in flood zones
between 2016 and 2019. Ocean City, the famous Belfast holiday town, was issued
almost 70 new building permits within the same time.

The properties accept the existing 30,000 houses in Maryland
and 34,000 existing houses in Virginia which are at high risk of flooding
2050, according to analysis by the non-profit real estate and central Estate
Zillow website.

Fehrer said allowing people to build flood belts without
more stringent, more thoughtful measures than “failure on the part of a county government
because you’re taking people into harm. ”

But some say it is not necessary to override the federal
The government already requires communities that participate in the flood
insurance program.

Joseph Metrecic, who is president of the Worcester County Board
Commissioners and home builder Ocean City also said it should be up
homeowners whether to go beyond federal standards. After all, their are
property.

“It is the responsibility of homeowners to do their best
and decide where they want to build that house and how high, ”he said.
adding: “As long as it does not violate the neighborhood, we wish
people to be able to build what they want. ”

He said the commission was not asked to consider it
additional board needs in five years of the program, but it showed
it may be a hard sale.

The county is already losing development to nearby Delaware,
he said, because of Maryland’s requirement that new houses have an expensive sprinkler
systems. At the same time, he acknowledged that he would pay free costs
during new construction it is much cheaper than a sprinkler system to install or
raising an existing house.

According to FEMA, costs up front of each original program cost between 0.25 and 1.5 per cent of total construction costs.

However, “the commissioners are mostly very small
the government said, ”Metrecic said. “As long as someone builds their own house,
their decision. ”

Terry Phillips, from Yorktown, Virginia, said he wanted
building standards were in place when he built his house forty years
since then.

Its property, located from Chesapeake Bay and the Atlantic Ocean,
There are many times under water. FEMA paid about $ 100,000 twice to repair it, it was
He said, before he finally paid more than half a million by way of a grant to raise it
different legs at home.

“If I knew when I built this house, I know now
he was never flooded, ”he told News4, explaining that he would have built it
higher structure from the beginning.

Elizabeth Andrews, who directs the Virginia Coastal Policy Center
and advises state and local governments on these issues, which states that lawmakers have joined
hard spot.

“There are many times when it is easy to express a mayor in areas and say: ‘Why are you allowing developments in your coastal areas when you know there is flooding?’ minutes, “she said.

Most local governments cannot give money to expensive purchase programs or to fund existing houses in flood zones, she said.

“It is to make some tough decisions in the state
level, ”she said. “We will have to make tough calls as it is
there is no unexpected money and we will have to decide by the state
We also have a level to fund to save money. ”

She asked for additional “short-term” elevation requirements
solution, even if people are required to build their homes, she says,
communities may eventually be stranded by underwater roads and by the public
utilities. She predicts that more people will start to be at risk
sea ​​level would increase more seriously.

“The person who bought the bag with the big house bought them that they can’t get the same amount of money because their septic pipes can’t, or can’t find it because their road is so much of the year. under water, ”she said.

That’s why Kyle Tanger, the leading sustainability consultant
Alexandria said, his family is enjoying a Cambridge getaway as far as possible
They can.

“I would love my children to be able to inherit it. I would love my children to have his heritage,” he said, adding: “I don’t know if this can be done here. . ”

Jodie Fleischer, made by Katie Leslie, and Jeff Piper and Evan Carr reported.

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