Lafayette Parish working to update FEMA flood maps

LAFAYETTE, La. (KLFY) – The last time Lafayette Parish updated it’s flood maps Bill Clinton was president and many residents who experienced damage during the recent flood are wondering if their home’s flood status will change with the updated maps.

Pamela Gonzales Granger is one of many residents in Youngsville whose home flooded in a no flood zone.

“I am considered a zone X, but I had flood insurance because again I know that anything can happen you’re in South Louisiana,” said Granger.

Granger works as the city engineer for Youngsville. The effective flood map for Lafayette Parish has been in place since 1996. Granger said the flood zones could change because the preliminary maps are being finalized.

“And the maps that came out in December 2014 have been in the process to become effective maps, so in the interim the effective maps, which is what insurance is based on, some of them are still back from 1996.”

Lafayette Consolidated Government Building Official Tim Tolbert said the parish began updating its flood maps in 2007. He said the new guidelines are now in the final stages of completion.

“We are using them for new construction and permitting right now, but for legal adoption, we are waiting on FEMA.”

Granger said when it comes to flood zones, the maps aren’t always reliable.

“We do see some areas that are in A and AE that were in X in 1996. That information is available, but again your insurance is going to be based upon effective maps but not the preliminary that we are trying to get put in as effective.”

Tolbert said FEMA must approve the maps before any changes can be made.

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