Preventing the next Sandy

Five elected officials crossed party lines to issue a joint letter to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers pressing them to join forces on the new seawall in Staten Island.  In the letter, U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer, Congressman Dan Donovan, Mayor Bill de Blasio, Borough President James S. Oddo, and Minority Leader Steven Matteo stressed the importance to Staten Island residents that the new seawall attain FEMA accreditation, resulting in new flood maps that reflect reduced flood risk.  Those potential new flood maps could result in flood insurance relief.


The full letter is below:


May 24, 2017


Col. David A. Caldwell

Commander, New York District

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

26 Federal Plaza

New York, New York 10278


Mr. Roy Wright

Deputy Associate Administrator for Insurance and Mitigation

Federal Emergency Management Agency

500 C Street SW

Washington, DC 20472


Dear Colonel Caldwell and Deputy Associate Administrator Wright:


We write to you on behalf of the residents of Staten Island to urge the US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to work together to ensure the South Shore of Staten Island Coastal Storm Risk Reduction project (the “East Shore Levee”) can achieve FEMA accreditation, and ultimately flood insurance relief, without delay.

As you know, Hurricane Sandy devastated the neighborhoods along the East Shore of Staten Island. The residents of Staten Island bore the brunt of this catastrophic storm not only in the form of destroyed homes and businesses, but also through devastating loss of life.  Years since the flood waters have receded, the threat of rising flood insurance premiums remains a threat to East Shore communities.

The East Shore Levee will help to ensure the devastation Hurricane Sandy wrought on East Shore communities is not repeated. As representatives of Staten Island’s East Shore at the City and Federal level, we believe that flood risk reduction is not enough. The residents of the East Shore deserve relief from rising waters and rising flood insurance premiums. This is why we believe the USACE and FEMA must work in concert to ensure insurance premiums reflect reduced flooding risk that will result from the East Shore Levee.

The residents of Staten Island’s East Shore have waited long enough for this critical infrastructure and the flood risk reduction it will bring. Originally authorized in 1993, the USACE approved the Director’s Report for this project 2016. This important milestone represents exciting momentum, but it is also represents a challenge to all levels of government. With many years to project completion, we must work at the City, State, and Federal level to ensure we are doing everything we can to ensure this project eases the burdens on Staten Island communities that have waited for decades to see this project completed. Ensuring East Shore residents see flood insurance premiums fall as their flood risks are reduced by the completion of the levee is a key workstream that lies ahead as we move forward with this critical project.

We commend the Army Corps for the expeditious manner in which it has undertaken this effort. We look forward to continued partnership between federal, state, and city governments as we seek to provide waterfront communities in Staten Island and throughout the New York City and New York State with the increased level of protection they need.

Thank you for your consideration.


At Alpha/Omega Coverage Corp we are following these developments closely with your best interests in mind.  Please don’t hesitate to reach out to us if you have any questions relating to flood insurance, or if you have any other insurance needs or concerns.


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The author is providing the material and viewpoints on a generic informational basis. All references to various insurance policies, coverage terms, policy language, exclusions, definitions etc. are from a broad selection of general insurance information. It is not intended to be used for any specific policy or coverage situation. The views expressed by the author do not necessarily represent the views of the insurance companies it represents.  Content has been referenced from press releases from U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer and Congressman Dan Donovan. 

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