Staten Island Flood Zones
The borough of Staten Island is home to the highest point of elevation on the eastern shore of the United States. However, this doesn't exclude Staten Island from flooding. You must keep in mind that while Staten Island may be full of hills, the rest of it is not that far above sea level. Additionally, the borough is an island, which enables it to be even more prone to flooding.
In 1979, the Federal Emergency Management Agency was created. For decades, the agency has been in charge of the National Flood Insurance Program, which was created in 1968. Over the years, they have continued to provide maps for the United States to designate where certain flood zones are located. Today, there are almost one dozen different flood zones.
On September 5, 2007, a new map was released to show the flood zones of New York City. Staten Island itself consists of five different flood zones: Zone A, Zone AE, Zone VE, the shaded Zone X, and the unshaded Zone X. Of these zones, Zones A, AE, and VE are areas of high flood risk. The X Zones have a moderate to low risk. Each zone has specific zoning requirements, which we will get to shortly.
Zone AE is for areas which have base flood elevations determined. This means that there is a one percent chance of the area flooding. On Staten Island, the areas that have been designated as Zone AE are located along the entire perimeter of the borough. Other areas include the land surrounding the creeks in the South Shore and most of the neighborhood of Bloomfield. In this zone, the altitude is not very high above sea level. Given this, buildings must have the lowest floor elevated and be completely flood proofed. Manufactured homes must be anchored properly so that they cannot move.
The shaded Zone X describes areas which have only a moderate chance of flooding. On Staten Island, it is shown as an inner boundary of Zone AE, wrapping around the inner perimeter of Staten Island. There are also some other points more inland which are classified as the shaded Zone X. The altitude in these zones is higher than those of Zone AE.
Zone VE signifies coastal flood areas, where there will be waves. On Staten Island, the areas designated as Zone VE are located along the outer perimeter of Staten Island's East Shore and South Shore. This would be the piers and other structures which jut out into the water.
Since Zone VE is closer to the water than the others, and its risks include waves and wind. In addition to being anchored properly, new construction must be elevated so that the lowest horizontal supporter is higher than the base flood level.
In A Zones, the base flood elevations have not been determined, which results in more building requirements than in the other zones. On Staten Island, the areas designated as Zone A surround the creeks that branch off from the Arthur Kill, in addition to a few other spots interspersed throughout the borough. In this zone, buildings must be constructed with appropriate materials that will prevent them from being damaged by a flood. Like AE Zones, they must also be anchored properly so that the building cannot move. Of course, all buildings must also be constructed in a way which would reduce flood damage.
The last zone shown on the Staten Island flood map is the unshaded Zone X. Much of the rest of Staten Island is classified as this zone. Land in this zone are of the least concern, as it is an area of minimal flood damage.
To find out more information on what you can do before, during and after a flood, you can visit the Federal Emergency Management Agency's website at www.fema.gov.
Note: The map is not official and should be used only as a point reference. We do not guarantee the accuracy of its boundaries as a matter of determining whether a specific home address is located in a flood zone. You should contact your local insurance agent and/or the FEMA official website.