March 2013 Table of Contents

Watching the Money: Post-Sandy, Authorities Eye Fraud and Mismanagement

From small-time scams to major misappropriation of relief money, government is on the lookout for crooked use of rebuilding funds. Read more

Crews Grind Away on Sandy Underwater Debris Removal

In the Barnegat Bay, side-scanning sonar and “picker” boats are the tools for a tedious cleanup. Read more

Florida Builders See Business Bouncing Back

After a statewide tour, homebuilding market analyst Lesley Deutch reports: “Florida is on fire.” Read more

Alabama Deck Collapse Injures Spring Break Partiers

An deck at an Alabama beach house failed suddenly in early March under the weight of students partying on spring break, sending several to the hospital. Read more

Plum Island Homeowners Fight a Losing Battle with the Sea — and the State

On Plum Island’s unstable shoreline, panicked homeowners have taken matters into their own hands, building armored rock-wall defenses along their beach. But the legal ground they stand on is as shifting and unreliable as the crumbling dunes. Read more

In New Jersey, New FEMA Flood Maps Bring Controversy and Confusion

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie has adopted FEMA’s tough new advisory flood maps for the New Jersey rebuilding. But he also says the maps may be eased when the final version comes out. Is he right? Read more

A New Union? Sandy Brings Big Changes to a Beach-Cottage Community

Some homeowners may be forced out. Others may be able to rebuild, better. But one thing’s for sure: Things are going to change in Union Beach, New Jersey. Read more

NFIP Demands its Money Back from Flooded Staten Island Homeowner

The NFIP paid a Staten Island homeowner $10,000 for flood damage to her first floor. Now they say the space was a basement — and they want their money back. Read more

To Elevate - or What? Staten Island Homeowners Ponder their Options

As Hurricane Katrina taught in New Orleans, the road home after a hurricane is not a simple path. Read more

FEMA Puts One “On-Your-Lot” Trailer in New Jersey

In a first for the New Jersey recovery effort, FEMA has provided a trailer to a New Jersey family on land they already own. Read more

After Sandy, a Debate about Dunes in New Jersey

Sand dunes saved some houses from Sandy's storm surge. But some beachfront homeowners still won't sign off on raising the dunes. Read more

And Now, A Surge of Flood-Damaged Houses For Sale

Homes flooded by Sandy are showing up in real estate listings at a steep discount — but it’s buyer beware. Read more

Another Nor'easter Pounds the Northeast

The latest in a series of tough winter storms brought more flooding and more destruction to New Jersey and Massachusetts shore towns. Read more

Floods Overwhelm Sewer Plant in Hull, Massachusetts

Authorities aren’t sure why a sewer plant in Hull, Massachusetts, flooded and broke down last week, forcing operators to spill untreated sewage into the ocean. Read more

Florida Gears Up for Wildfire Season

Spring is on its way in Florida — and with it, the rising threat of wildfires. Read more

Flood Insurance Reform Shakes Up Louisiana Market

As flood insurance rates get ready to spike sharply upward, buyers and sellers are worried about the consequences. Read more

Savannah Builders See a Warm Spring Season Ahead

”PVC farms” at the stalled developments around Savannah, Georgia, may finally start bearing fruit this spring. Read more

Are Stormwater Rules Destroying Trees?

A Maryland builder says requirements for downspout sump pits are forcing him to damage tree roots. Read more

Respond & Rebuild: Volunteers Tackle Mold in the Rockaways

A grassroots volunteer group called Respond & Rebuild has made mold its top priority, and they’re attacking it with a basic arsenal: wire brushes, detergent, and elbow grease. Read more

New York Issues Tickets to Beach Walkers, Taxes Rebuilders

“I cried all the way home,” said Staten Island homeowner Emilya Malkin after encountering New York City Parks Police on the beach near her house. Malkin says police threatened her family with arrest as she strolled with her husband and children. Read more

New Jersey “Charity” Catches Heat from State

New Jersey authorities have sued a fledgling non-profit raising money for Hurricane Sandy victims, charging that the self-styled charity is making questionable claims and suspicious money transfers. Read more

In Jersey, FEMA Flood Maps Spark Beachfront Blowback

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie was quick to embrace FEMA’s new flood plain maps. But not everyone feels the same way. Read more

Lower Manhattan Beat by Sandy? Not So Fast.

Manhattan business leaders are keen to let people know that parts of the island worst hit by Superstorm Sandy are bouncing back. Read more

After Sandy, Flooding Is an Everyday Problem

Communities on Long Island’s south shore are facing a new problem: with the protective barrier island damaged, tides flood their streets every day. Read more

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