New FEMA flood rate maps promise savings for many in Jefferson Parish

New flood maps for Jefferson Parish

JEFFERSON PARISH, LA (WVUE) - Tens of thousands of home and business owners in Jefferson Parish will likely save money on their premiums under the just-finalized Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRM) from the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

The changes go into effect February 2, 2018.

The first update in 22 years reflects a lot improvements in flood protection.

" Since 1995, and we had those massive floods back then, a lot of improvements have been made in Jefferson Parish probably in the hundreds of millions if not billions in improvements," said Mike Yenni, Jefferson Parish President.

Compared to the 1995  maps, more than 60,000 parcels show a decrease in base flood elevation.

More than 40,000 properties change from high risk to reduced risk.

Upgraded ratings will provide relief in Harahan and River Ridge as well as Lafitte and Barataria.

Yenni notes, "You're getting areas in Lafitte where it's a VE rated zone going to an AE rated zone. Some of those residents could see $3,000 in savings. Where you go from an AE zone to an X zone, those residents could see $300-$400 in savings per year. so that's pretty significant."

Some properties will change to a higher risk flood zone.

Still, the parish indicates there are drainage projects underway that will benefit those areas. It is already working with FEMA to develop a process to amend the maps once those projects are complete.

A change from a low-risk zone to a high-risk zone doesn't necessarily mean an automatic flood insurance premium increase.

National Flood Insurance Program rules grandfather in policyholders who have maintained continuous flood insurance coverage.

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