Almost four years after the Federal Emergency Management Agency released preliminary flood risk maps for Louisiana’s Terrebonne and Lafourche parishes, officials don’t know when the final maps will come out.
The maps are used to determine flood-insurance rates and how high homes and businesses must be elevated in flood-prone areas.
Local officials have heavily scrutinized the maps, last updated in the 1980s, The Courier reported.
Since Terrebonne and Lafourche parishes appealed the maps, local leaders have been reviewing and disputing the data used to create them.
Parish officials have also been in a major dispute with FEMA about its levee policies. Initially, the agency would not recognize levees that weren’t certified by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
No levees in either parish have that certification.
Final flood maps have been trickling out for other parishes in Louisiana, but maps are still pending for Terrebonne and Lafourche.
Stephanie Moffett, a regional spokeswoman for FEMA, said the Lafourche flood maps are on hold pending the release of “policy-related analysis and mapping procedures for non-accredited levees.”
FEMA is working with community officials in Terrebonne to resolve appeals and comments received after the preliminary maps’ release. Once resolved, Moffett said, the maps will move forward.