After Failed Challenge Louisiana Town Adopts New Flood Maps

February 16, 2012

The Denham Springs, La., City Council has adopted new federal flood insurance maps.

The Advocate reports both the city and Livingston Parish governments had unsuccessfully challenged the new Federal Emergency Management Agency maps.

FEMA has given the city a deadline of April 3 to adopt the new maps, City Building Official Rick Foster told the council in a public hearing prior to the vote.

If the city doesn’t comply, it would lose the right to participate in the National Flood Insurance Program, he said.

Without adoption of the maps, “the community will go into suspension, and no (federal) flood insurance policies will be written,” Foster said in advising the council to approve an ordinance adopting the maps and other FEMA requirements.

For people with mortgages that require flood insurance, inability to get federal flood insurance would mean they would have to find flood insurance through private companies at a much higher price, Foster said.

Millions of dollars are at risk for the city and the parish, he told the council.

The council approved the ordinance 4-1, with John Wascom casting the lone negative vote. Arthur Perkins, Lori Lamm-Williams, Annie Fugler and Chris Davis voted for the ordinance.

The ordinance also adopts the areas of special flood hazard identified by FEMA in its latest scientific and engineering report.

An informational meeting will be held at 6 p.m. on March 8 in the city’s Municipal Building to display the new flood maps and answer the public’s questions, Foster said.

Depending on location, some people would be affected negatively and some positively by the changes in the maps, he said.

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