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With new flood maps, NYC moves to ease rebuilding

NEW YORK (AP) -- New York City is taking steps to resolve a dilemma for owners of storm-damaged properties. New flood maps suggest they rebuild higher, but current zoning might not allow that.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg signed an order Thursday suspending zoning height limits for property owners rebuilding after Superstorm Sandy. They'd have to build according to the new flood levels. There are some other restrictions.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency released preliminary new flood maps Monday for part of the city. They double the number of properties in flood zones. Many buildings already in such zones might have to be raised to avoid flooding in strong storms.

The city expects to update zoning laws to reflect the new maps, but that could take years.

Bloomberg's order aims to guide rebuilding in the meantime.