BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - The East Baton Rouge Metro Council quickly approved a measure that would exclude three FEMA flood zone designations from having to elevate homes deemed substantially damaged.
The council voted unanimously to remove the elevation requirement for substantially damaged homes in zones B, C, and X. All three face a moderate to minimal risk of flooding.
Zone X, for example, is outside the 500-year floodplain and, as a result, does not require the homeowner to buy flood insurance.
Approximately 50 percent of the damaged properties in the parish are in X flood zones, according to Carey Chauvin with the Department of Public Works. However, it is not yet known how many of those homeowners will be impacted by the change as inspections are ongoing and it is unclear how many properties are considered substantially damaged.
The change to the elevation requirements brings the parish's policy in line with FEMA's requirements, according to Councilman Joel Boe who proposed the measure.