Iberia, Vermilion (La.) Parish Flood Maps Delayed

February 14, 2006

New Advisory Base Flood Elevation maps for Louisiana’s Iberia and Vermilion parishes are still on the drawing boards.

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) had planned to make the maps available over the past weekend, but data analysis for the maps has caused delays. The new advisory maps are expected to take another three weeks to reach completion.

Wayne Rickard, mitigation section chief for FEMA, said that the data for Vermilion and Iberia is still being plotted onto maps and that those maps, along with St. Mary Parish, are expected to be ready around the second week of March. Rickard said that while the advisory maps are pending, advisory base flood elevation guidance was released to these parishes Dec. 1 and it is valid.

A base flood elevation is the height at which there is a one percent or greater chance of flooding in a given year. It is the minimum building standard of the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). Even when rebuilding outside of a flood plain, flood insurance purchase is still highly recommended.

Advisory Base Flood Elevation maps have previously been made available for four other parishes: St. Charles, St. John the Baptist, St. Tammany and Tangipahoa. Flood maps are provided to local governments to help builders and engineers determine how high to set construction projects in flood plains to avoid flood damage during severe storms.

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