Saturday, January 17, 2009

REPRIEVE FROM FEMA FLOOD MAPS

BAY ST. LOUIS -

"The Bay" has been fighting FEMA's extreme flood maps which they created without the use of proper science or scientific tools. Those maps, had they become law, would have severely limited recovery from Katrina because they would impose ridiculously high elevation requirements.

In its appeal, the city of Bay St. Louis pointed out various issues that were problematic:
* the accuracy of wave models used by FEMA scientists
* mathematical errors
* mapping problems
* FEMA did not consider bottom composition elements in the Bay of St. Louis in calculating potential wave heights

The city's victory over FEMA means that the A Zones (flood hazard) were expanded and the V Zones (most volatile flood hazard) were shrunk.

FEMA’s proposed maps would have required buildings to be as high as 22 feet above mean high tide in some parts of the A Zones. That height will now be 18 or 19 feet. Additionally, almost 40% of the city was located in V Zones with another 40% in A Zones.

With the newest flood maps, the V Zones should account for only 10% of the city and A Zones expand to 60%. This larger A Zone area change will save residents and businesses thousands of dollars in flood insurance money. Some good news that everyone needed!

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