Carmen Judice, flood plain manager for Iberia Parish, says gone are the days of government subsidies for flood insurance policies.
“Because of all of the disasters that we've had they're saying they (the Federal Emergency Management Agency) are broke and it (federal flood insurance subsidies) is a burden on them,” says Judice.
Judice says starting on Tuesday, FEMA stopped the subsidies with authorization from congress and businesses located in flood hazard areas will be hit with an increase whenever they renew their policies.
“FEMA says it's a 25 percent increase and this will be a 25 percent increase plus $5,000 per foot that they are below the BFE (base flood elevation level), but really and truly some of them are 400 percent increase,” says Judice.
Judice says the high costs for those under the BFE—like most businesses at the parish's port—could be offset with a federally accredited levee.
“New Orleans has a levee and a lot of the homes are below the BFE and have that accredited levee. They pay barely any premiums, they're very minimal,” says Judice.
The Parish Council will consider pulling $50,000 from the parish Royalty Fund for the parish levee district.
Ken Fontenot, a materials manager at a company located in the port, says next year the council should re-consider taxes for a levee if premiums become too high.
“At this point we don't have enough information to have a stance. We don't have any idea how it would affect our rates. However, if any increase cost in taxes are more than offset by insurance statements it's a good business decision,” says Fontenot.
Judice says starting on October 1st, vacation homes also lost government subsidies along with businesses.
Next January, the final stage of the federal government's end to flood insurance subsidies will take effect; stripping subsidies away from primary homes as well.