Calcasieu Police Jury increases flood elevation standards - Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Calcasieu Police Jury increases flood elevation standards

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The Calcasieu Parish Police Jury agreed to require an additional 1-foot elevation to all new construction and substantial improvements in certain areas of the parish.

Police Jury officials said about 40 percent of the parish is in a special flood hazard area.

The new elevation is required in areas that FEMA determines to be a bad flood zone. Those zones are A, AE, AO, VE, and X shaded areas.

"It's good for them, because it's going to assure that they are above that minimum elevation, in case there are any changes that come to those flood zone maps by FEMA," said Director of Planning and Development Wes Crain.

The standards would decrease the chance of a home being damaged by a storm or flood, making a discount on property owner's home insurance.

"It's probably going to save them about 50 percent on their premium if they go 1-foot above, so it's a good thing for people," Crain said.

The decision was originally supposed to be voted on at a November meeting, but it was pushed back for more feedback.

And with feedback gained and public comments throughout the past months, Police Jury officials said the new ordinance will ultimately make Calcasieu a safer place to live.

"Again, it's going to help those people who are in flood problem areas and save them on their insurance rate," Crain said.

There are several ways to measure the height of the building as defined in the ordinance. Under the ruling, the highest of those measures will be used with 1-foot added to it.

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