Sandy Aid Bill Sails Through Senate As New Flood Maps Double Danger Zone

Photo: Spencer Platt/Getty Images2013 Getty Images

Three months, almost to the day, after Hurricane Sandy decimated huge swaths of the New York and New Jersey coasts, the Senate approved a $50.5 billion aid package for the two states by a 62-36 vote, which the House approved two weeks ago after a struggle to get enough Republicans on board. Not that anybody was worried the Senate wouldn't pass it, but this is still good news for people waiting on further assistance after the emergency $9.7 billion flood insurance program signed into law earlier this month. Obama said he would sign this latest bill "as soon as it hits my desk." But there was some grim news along with the good, as FEMA on Monday issued its new flood maps that include twice as many New York buildings as those they're replacing. The new maps "are predictors for new flood insurance rate maps," The New York Times reports, and will soon influence city building codes. For now, they serve as a reminder that this latest disaster likely won't be the last.