New Cameron flood maps take effect Nov. 16

By By John Guidroz / American Press

Cameron Parish residents without flood insurance should buy coverage before the new Federal Emergency Management Agency flood

maps become effective Nov. 16 so they can get the best premiums, a FEMA official said Wednesday.

Agency spokesman Robert Alvey said that getting flood insurance early could save residents money if their flood zone changes

next month. The maps detail flood risk throughout the parish.

“Buying insurance is one part of being prepared in the event of a disaster,” he said.

Parish Administrator Tina Horn told the American Press

last month that the new maps will have about 30 percent of the parish

in a velocity zone, or V-zone. She said the high-risk

flood zone has more restrictions for new development and requires

more expensive flood insurance premiums. V-zone areas cannot

get federal assistance to rebuild public facilities, Horn said.

Most of the parish is in an A-zone, which has fewer restrictions and allows for cheaper flood insurance premiums.

Horn said the new flood maps are drastically different from FEMA’s Digital Flood Insurance Rate Maps, which had 80 percent

of the parish in a V-zone.

The parish hired Lonnie Harper and Associates, a local engineering firm; civil engineer Joe Suhayda; and the Massachusetts-based

Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution to handle the appeal of the DFIRMs. David Minton, an engineer with Lonnie Harper and

Associates, said the appeals process took about four years.

Online: www.floodsmart.gov