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Residents In Flood Areas Forced To Adjust To New Guidelines

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TWC News: Residents In Flood Areas Forced To Adjust To New Guidelines
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New recommendations for homes in flood-prone areas have homeowners reeling as they try to figure out their best move. NY1's Mahsa Saeidi filed the following report.

Brooklyn residents devastated by Hurricane Sandy gathered at the Resurrection Auditorium in Gerritsen Beach Thursday to learn how to cope with stress in the aftermath of the storm.

That stress includes dealing with FEMA, insurance companies and contractors. And now that the city has revised the building codes for flood-prone areas, these families have some big decisions to make.

Emma Hernandez-Butler showed NY1 the toll Sandy took on the home that she and her husband had lived in for 11 years.

"Where we're standing now, this used to be the living room," she said. "Over there to the right was my bedroom, and then next to my bedroom was my mother's room."

Hernandez-Butler said everything from the ceiling to the foundation must be replaced.

"It was like a bad dream," she said. "I was in shock."

Hernandez-Butler was in the process of rebuilding, but halted construction after FEMA redefined flood zones this week.

The new FEMA map puts Hernandez-Butler's home in a hazardous flood zone, meaning she has to raise her home three to six feet or pay more for flood insurance.

"I have to be able to get $30,000 so I can be able to put my house higher, because if I don't, I'm going to end up paying $10,000 in the next two years because the flood insurance will go up very high," she said.

That's money Hernandez-Butler said she doesn't have. So for now, she'll have to wait for her insurance company to write her a check.

"I pray that when we do fix it, and we do make it higher, that hopefully we won't have to go through this again," she said.

Hernandez-Butler and her husband have rented a small apartment, where they will be living at for the immediate future because they have to deal with insurance. She said she's not sure when construction on her home will be complete.

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