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Landlords getting a new weapon in fight against flood damage?

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In the ongoing battle to protect your apartment against the next Hurricane Sandy, the city wants to give your landlord a little more leeway when it comes to putting up flood protection. The Department of Transportation is mulling a plan to let building owners install temporary flood barriers on public sidewalks and streets, Crain’s reports.

Many properties are built to the edge of the lot, which means there’s no room to install flood barriers without spilling over onto public land. Under the proposal, landlords would be able to put up  “permanent footings” on the sidewalk or building facade, and then attach temporary barriers in the event of a storm.

The AquaFence, a temporary flood protection system, installed at 166 Perry Street, a condo building in the West Village

One possible option would be the AquaFence (pictured above), a mobile flood-protection barrier from Norway that's in use at office buildings in Lower Manhattan and at Jane's Carousel in Brooklyn Bridge Park. (If you've ever seen that iconic image of the carousel seemingly floating atop the Hudson River during Sandy, you can appreciate the need for protection.) 

Under the DOT plan, landlords could apply for a new kind of permit from the agency that would also set out when they’d have to put up and take down the barriers—two days before a storm and one day after the water ebbs, respectively, under the current proposal. A public hearing on the plan is scheduled for next month. 

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