The new FEMA flood maps go into effect December 21st.
LCG is hosting a series of meetings to let homeowners know what steps they have to take because of the changes. Representatives from FEMA headquarters, public works, flood engineers and elevation surveyors lined the Broussard Community Center to answer questions.
“I was besides myself.. I instantly called up my insurance company, discussed it with them and the worst part about it was, the first quote they gave to me was for $8,800 a year,” said Broussard resident, Andrea Burkenstock, who’s 20-year-old home has never flooded.
Now, for the first time since 1996, the flood maps are being updated.
These changes mean ratings for flood insurance policies will increase for many, like Burkenstock, who will now be placed in a flood zone and face higher premiums.
“If I get my paperwork to grandfather me in, it could be around $500. If not, it will be a few thousand,” she said.
Last week, letters went out to inform homeowners about the changes.
Engineers who created the maps say they base them on the 1% chance of flooding any given year and they look at flooding sources near homes, not the poor drainage around them.
“It’s all engineering models that determine it, some of places with high water marks, historic data…It’s just because you’re in proximity to that flooding source. It doesn’t necessarily mean that you are going to flood. But unfortunately, the way FEMA does the maps, it’s because you’re on a channel, because you’re on some sort of water body,” said LCG floodplain administrator, Stephanie Weeks.
Roughly 4,500 additional homes were put into flood zones, but according to LCG, about just as many were taken out.
“There’s areas that are going to see good change and there’s areas that are going to see negative change,” said Weeks.
For a more in depth look on why the changes, click here.
“Living on a single income, I was very strategic when I bought my house. I made sure I was within my budget and a lot of people in my neighborhood were like that,” said Burkenstock.
Although letters went out, LCG is urging all Lafayette Parish homeowners to check the new flood maps online or call their insurance agents to see if they will be in a flood zone.
If you’d like more information, there are two more meetings coming up:
- Sept. 12, 6 p.m. Scott Event Center, 110 Lions Club Rd.
- Sept. 19, 6 p.m. Carencro Community Center, 5115 N. University Ave.
The new maps can be viewed online here.
More information can be found here, or contact Stephanie Weeks, floodplain administrator, at 337-291-8468 or firstname.lastname@example.org.