Proposed flood maps could cost some St. Mary residents thousands in insurance

Proposed flood maps could cost some St. Mary residents thousands in insurance

PATTERSON, LA (WAFB) - Anyone living near the water in St. Mary Parish may soon have to pay a lot more to do so.

The LSU AgCenter put their new flood zone maps on display Wednesday night at the Patterson Civic Center.

Pat Skinner with the AgCenter said some residents could see skyrocketing premiums if their property is outside of the flood zone now, but will come into the flood zone on the proposed map.

"Real estate transactions and mortgage requirements are all based on this flood insurance rate map so it really matters to people in their pocket book what this map says," said Skinner, a disaster recovery and mitigation specialist.

Skinner said someone paying $200 or $300 a year could now pay thousands depending on their property. And that could go into effect this year.

The proposed maps for St. Mary Parish were in the works for a long time under former Parish President Paul Naquin.

"This was one of my biggest accomplishments - this flood map. I've been working with FEMA for eight years trying to get this map straight," said Naquin, who left office earlier in January.

Now, it just needs approved by the parish, and the AgCenter expects that to happen.

However, it's not a major scare for most people in the parish.

The change between the current map and the proposed map is not much.

Mark Duhon who lives in Amelia would actually come out of the flood zone.

"I'm coming out of it. It should be cheaper insurance," said Duhon.

"It's all politics as usual and this may take a year to implement," said Michael Landry, a Lafayette resident who designs buildings in coastal parishes. "They've tried before so hopefully they'll succeed this time because I do think there's many areas that need to be lowered but there are also some areas, they're trying to raise it."

To see the proposed flood zone, visit the AgCenter's website and click the flood map tab.

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