City, FEMA To Host Flood Insurance Workshop For Residents Thursday
NEW ORLEANS – The City of New Orleans announced that the City and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) will host a flood insurance workshop tomorrow, Thursday, Sept. 15, 2016, at 10:00 a.m. in the New Orleans City Council Chambers at City Hall, 1300 Perdido St., to provide residents with information on the new updates to flood insurance rates and resources.
On Sept. 30, 2016, FEMA's new Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRMs) will be finalized and in effect for New Orleans. These maps are available here.
Residents can view information about their property by navigating to their state, parish and local address. Due to significant improvements in drainage and flood protection, more than 53 percent of all properties in New Orleans were removed from Special Flood Hazard Areas (“A” zones”) and as a result, will benefit from more affordable flood insurance. Under the new FIRMS, many homeowners will be eligible for a significantly lower flood insurance rate.
“FEMA’s new flood maps for New Orleans will make a huge difference for our residents, potentially saving hundreds of thousands of dollars on flood insurance,” Mayor Mitch Landrieu said. “But recent flooding in Louisiana should be a reminder to everyone that weather events can strike anyone, even those who have never flooded before. Property owners are encouraged to do everything they can to protect themselves from a catastrophic loss like a flood, including purchasing flood insurance. This workshop is a great opportunity to learn more about the new flood maps.”
Residents and other property owners are encouraged to attend to gain a better understanding of how recent flood map changes will affect their flood insurance. This workshop is free, but seating is limited, so attendees must register in advance. This workshop will also be broadcast live on NOA-TV for residents unable to attend.
New FEMA Flood Maps
The new FEMA Flood Insurance Rate Maps will affect approximately 85,000 policies in New Orleans, City reps said. As of September 2015, the average flood insurance policy was $961. The cost of flood insurance in non-hazard areas (“X-Zones”) is cheaper than in areas with a higher statistical risk of flooding. Any changes to homeowners’ and business owners’ insurance premiums would be made through their insurance companies. The City strongly encourages all residents to have flood insurance, even if it is not required by their lender.
The City’s Department of Safety and Permits has worked with FEMA to enhance development regulations that will ensure maximum protection for people and property and will ultimately reduce premiums by an additional 5 percent citywide, City reps said. After the adoption of the flood maps by the City Council, homeowners will be required to build homes either three feet above the curb height or one foot above the flood elevation as determined by the maps, whichever is higher. The new elevation requirements will only affect new construction and substantial improvements permitted after June 1, 2016.
In November 2015, FEMA ruled in favor of the City’s appeal of the 2014 revised flood maps, which incorrectly placed Algiers Point area within a flood hazard area and had not taken into account significant improvements completed by the City and Sewerage and Water Board since the revised maps were developed, City reps said. The City appealed the 2012 preliminary flood maps in 2013 indicating that the Base Flood Elevations that FEMA’s data established did not match actual ground elevation in the City and did not account for the presence of elevated railroad tracks in Venetian Isles. These revisions to the flood maps helped make flood insurance more affordable for area residents, City reps said.