Preliminary Digital Flood Insurance Rate Maps to Debut at Open House in St. Mary Parish

NEW ORLEANS, La. -- The public is invited to view newly revised Preliminary Digital Flood Insurance Rate Maps (DFIRMS) for St. Mary Parish at an open house scheduled for Tuesday, May 6, 2008. The open house will be from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m ., at the Patterson Civic Center, 116 Cotton Road, in Patterson.

Specialists will be on hand at the open house to answer citizens' questions and to provide additional information about the flood mapping process, the impact of new flood maps, and the benefits and requirements of flood insurance. Citizens are encouraged to view the maps, which will be available in both digital and paper formats.

New or updated flood maps available at the Open House are for the following areas: Town of Baldwin, Town of Berwick, City of Franklin, City of Morgan City, City of Patterson and unincorporated areas of St. Mary Parish.

Flood Insurance Rate Maps delineate flood-risk zones and serve as an integral part of the National Flood Insurance Program, which plays a key role in defense against flood losses on an individual, community, state and national basis. The preliminary flood maps were developed as part of the nationwide map modernization effort spearheaded by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), which administers the National Flood Insurance Program.

The new maps will replace the current effective maps, which are outdated and were produced using earlier technology. Also, the new maps are in a digital format, providing greater detail and making it easier for citizens to view the information. The flood maps will help residents and business owners understand their current flood risk and make more informed decisions about protecting their property. Community planners, local officials, engineers, builders and others will have the tools to make important determinations about where and how new structures and developments should be built to maximize safety.

The release of the maps begins a process of official and public review and comments, ultimately resulting in the adoption of the new digital flood maps. While adoption is voluntary, it is a requirement for participation in the National Flood Insurance Program.

Residents should consult their local floodplain administrator with questions on what flood map or elevations to use during the rebuilding process. Extensive information about the Louisiana Mapping Project and the map adoption process is available online at

FEMA coordinates the federal government's role in preparing for, preventing, mitigating the effects of, responding to, and recovering from all domestic disasters, whether natural or man-made, including acts of terror.

Published on: 2008-04-24

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