City Appeals FEMA Flood Maps For Algiers Point Area
NEW ORLEANS – The City filed an appeal with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) on Friday, August 7, 2015, claiming that the 2014 Revised Preliminary Digital Flood Insurance Rate Maps incorrectly establish the Base Flood Elevations (BFEs) in the Algiers Point area and that significant improvements completed by the City and Sewerage and Water Board since the revised maps were developed were not taken into account.
If the City’s appeal is successful, the effort would help make flood insurance more affordable for area residents.
According to the map, Opelousas Avenue is depicted as a raised street that can act as a levee and prevent floodwaters from receding. In reality, Opelousas Avenue is not raised, so there is nothing that would prevent the free flow of water from North of Opelousas Avenue to south of Opelousas Avenue. The City said that the incorrect elevation of Opelousas Avenue resulted in flawed modeling.
Additionally, there have been significant improvements made in the Algiers area by the City of New Orleans and Sewerage & Water Board since the revised maps were developed. The projects, which were designed to reduce flood risk and flood loss, include widening the drainage culverts in the canal on General De Gaulle to improve the flow of flood waters to the outfall pumping station. The City would like FEMA to reevaluate the pumping and drainage capacity throughout Algiers with the new projects in place.
“I have asked FEMA to review these issues to ensure the accuracy of the Flood Maps for the residents of New Orleans,” said Mayor Mitch Landrieu. “It is imperative that the best possible science is used and that the maps show the actual risk. I have asked FEMA to review the appeal and to make the necessary adjustments to the maps where appropriate.”
The City has requested an additional 30 days to compile, analyze and provide additional technical data to support its appeal.
View the maps here