The U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) presented draft flood risk maps to Calcasieu Parish communities Wednesday during a meeting in Lake Charles.
The maps identify known flood risks and are used for insurance and development decisions. A 90-day appeal period for the preliminary Flood Insurance Rate Maps will begin later this month.
The new study consolidates all existing maps into a parish-wide digital format and includes a complete reassessment of Contraband Bayou. The floodplain boundaries were also reviewed using current topographic information.
“We encourage Calcasieu Parish residents to be familiar with flood risks in the community,” said Gary Jones, FEMA acting regional director. “The maps can help residents make informed decisions about flood insurance and flood protection.”
The new maps are based on detailed ground elevation models, decades of rainfall and storm gauge information and current topographic data. Residents and property owners may submit scientific or technical information during the appeal period if they believe the flood maps contain errors. Appeals are submitted through communities to FEMA, and FEMA will notify communities, insurance companies and residents of the effective date of the final maps after resolving all appeals.
Floodplain administrators in each Calcasieu Parish community have copies of the maps available for public viewing. When the flood maps are finalized and effective, some flood insurance policy holders may see changes in their policies.
Jones recommended that all policyholders contact their insurance agent or company to ensure that they have coverage that reflects new flood risk information.
More information on flood insurance is available at www.floodsmart.gov.
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