Flood maps to change for Livingston Parish in April - WAFB 9 News Baton Rouge, Louisiana News, Weather, Sports

Flood maps to change for Livingston Parish in April

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DENHAM SPRINGS, LA (WAFB) -

Some Denham Springs residents say their neighborhoods have never flooded, yet new maps have their homes in the flood zone and other homes are now out of the flood zone.  Livingston Parish will adopt the new maps this April. Officials say homeowners need to look at the maps now.

In the 40 years Larry Tate has lived on Joan Street, he says he has never seen it flood, but for the past three or four years, flood maps have placed his home in the flood zone.  He says his house is at a higher elevation than his daughter's down the block.

"They said she was like a half inch, and I know we're higher than she is. So it didn't make sense why they did the whole street," Tate said.

Now, the 2012 FEMA flood maps show he and a handful of homes on his side of the street are back out of the flood zone.  That's not the story everywhere though. On Brenda Drive, right now, the street is not in a flood zone.  But according to new maps, one side is going in.

Rick Foster is the building official for the City of Denham Springs. He says changes in development around the city have increased elevation in some areas adding them into the flood zone.  

Tate says the change will save him a thousand dollars a year, but for homeowners on Brenda Drive who've never had to pay for flood insurance, Foster says they can protect themselves without breaking the bank.

"If they purchase that preferred policy now, it's a much lower rate because they're not technically in flood zone. If they purchase now that premium will carry over for the next three years," Foster said. He adds that after the three years, the price will go up.

Foster says he recommends homeowners check now to see if there's a change in the flood area around their home. You can take a look at where your home is using the LSU AgCenter website at: http://lamp.lsuagcenter.com

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