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Calcasieu Parish residents and business owners could end up paying higher flood insurance premiums because of the 2012 Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act. (American Press Archives)<br>

Calcasieu Parish residents and business owners could end up paying higher flood insurance premiums because of the 2012 Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act. (American Press Archives)

Calcasieu residents, businesses could be hit by higher flood insurance premiums

Last Modified: Friday, August 30, 2013 7:35 PM

By John Guidroz / American Press

Calcasieu Parish residents and business owners could end up paying higher flood insurance premiums because of the 2012 Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act, an official with a Virginia-based consulting firm told parish officials Thursday.

Bryon Griffith, vice president of Dewberry, told Calcasieu police jurors about the legislation and how it may affect property owners. The company studies the impact of policies like Biggert-Waters.

Congress last year approved Biggert-Waters, which extends the National Flood Insurance Program for five years and implements major reforms in an attempt to make the program self-sufficient.

Griffith said the program calls for a “phasing out” of the federal subsidy structure and that the act “impacts every floodplain in the United States.”

One section of Biggert-Waters will affect properties in Calcasieu that already had flood insurance rates established according to the Base Flood Elevation, he said. Griffith said many of those grandfathered properties will carry a lower rate, unless “there is any exchange of property,” or “a cancellation of the insurance of any kind.”

Another part of the act states that “high-risk structures,” or homes in a “VE” zone, could see insurance premiums in excess of $20,000.

According to 2010 census numbers, Griffith said, more than 40 percent of Calcasieu Parish could be affected by Biggert-Waters. “It is a very volatile market profile right now, to say the least,” he said.

Griffith said the effects of the act should be considered when people begin to arrive in Calcasieu to work on industrial projects like Magnolia LNG or the expansion of the Sasol facility in Westlake.

Griffith said police jurors should expect some challenges with educating residents about Biggert-Waters.

Posted By: Ricky T. Guidry On: 9/8/2013

Title: Calcasieu Parish Flood Zones

I think that the Calcasieu Parish Police Jury, area State legislators and zoning boards are WAY more qualified and knowledgeable about where flood zones should be on a map....not some out of state for profit Virginia-based firm! Seem to me that it all boils down to money which includes insurance companies who are exempt from anti-trust which means more money in their pockets and price fixing!

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