FEMA releases new preliminary flood maps for area parishes
Jefferson Parish -- FEMA released new flood maps for property owners in Jefferson, Orleans and St. Bernard parishes this week.
In Jefferson Parish, certain neighborhoods in Metairie, Kenner, Marrero, River Ridge and more are at risk of seeing flood insurance rate hikes.
If you type in your address to FEMA's flood risk website and your street is highlighted in red, that means your flood insurance rates are at risk of rising. However, you may have the chance to change it by contacting your parish officials.
"We have until September 30 and every citizen has until September 30 to protest," said Jefferson Parish President John Young. "After that, those maps are going to govern for the foreseeable future."
Jefferson Parish officials are already exercising that right by drafting a letter to FEMA this week. Young says FEMA underestimated how well the Elmwood Pump station could protect areas west of Clearview.
"They just miscalculated. They said they had 12 pumps when we have 10, but when they reduced it to 10 they screwed up the pumping capacity. So, we feel that that's going to be corrected because that's a glaring mistake," said Young.
You want to check and see if you're in the red zone as soon as possible.
Even if you live by a canal and your area has flooded in the past, you could be pleasantly surprised.
The gray zone means your rates likely won't change, and the areas highlighted in green will possibly see flood insurance rates decrease.
Young says that's thanks to a lot of hard work paying off to protect those neighborhoods.
"The good news is most of Jefferson Parish has seen an improvement in their base flood elevations because of all the extensive improvements we've had in not only the internal draining system but also in hurricane protection systems as well," said Young.
Young suggested that if you think those kinds of projects have helped your area but you're in the red zone, you can try writing that in your protest to FEMA.