The 10-mile stretch of levee protecting West Monroe has been accredited by the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
“It’s great news for West Monroe and for the district,” said Tensas Basin Levee District executive director John Stringer.
“It’s a good first step. Very few of the nation’s levees are accredited; I believe it’s less than 10 percent,” he said.
The News-Star reports levee certification is critical as FEMA draws future flood plain maps. Eventually, levees that aren’t certified won’t show up on the maps and that means property owners will face significantly higher insurance rates.
“This is going to save a lot of people a lot of money over time, and I am appreciative of the work our levee board does,” West Monroe Mayor Dave Norris said. “Even more importantly, it’s a great comfort to know that these levees are sound and protect the people and property of West Monroe.
Having the Ouachita River’s west bank levees earn accreditation is a “significant first step for the entire Tensas Basin Levee District,” Stringer said.