Rebuilders should check maps

Published 7:00 am Saturday, March 26, 2016

Washington Parish floodplain administrator Leo Lucchesi said before anyone rebuilds their home, they should stop by his office.

Lucchesi said in order to get the best rate on flood insurance, homeowners should check the floodplain map and built over the base flood elevation by a foot.

“Anytime we have a situation where there is damage to homes, if they’re going to rebuild, then the point would be to get the base flood elevation certificate,” he said.

In addition to lowering the cost of flood insurance, raising homes to above the base flood elevation should keep people dry from all but the worst floods.

“That’s what we recommend to everybody,” he said. “And that is where we help the residents so they don’t have repetitive loss. We guide residents on the rebuilding process.”

Lucchesi said he did not know whether the March 11 flood that affected over 1,000 homes in Washington Parish will change the floodplain map, but he said it might change once FEMA begins processing claims for grants.

“I am sure and well learn more about the future of the re-plotting of the floodplain maps,” he said.

Lucchesi said the 2009 maps updated maps that hadn’t been updated since 1988, and that update included some big changes. He said he is plotting where flooding occurred on his maps of the parish.

“That’s one of the tasks I have in my office now, I am getting the reports from all the homes that were flooded and I am plotting them to see if they were in the prescribed flood zone that was published in 2009,” he said.

Lucchesi exactly how many people who were not in the flood zone may have been affected just yet. However, he plans to meet with people who were flooded but not in the flood zone.

“Victims who were not in the flood zone, I will maybe invite them to a meeting about what to do in the future,” he said.

Lucchesi added that he has heard stories from people who were flooded who may have not been in the zone.

“Some people lived there for generations and they’ve said we’ve never seen this water in our area,” he said.

Lucchesi said if anyone has any questions or needs an elevation certificate, call his office at 985-335-1312.