In the fiscal year 2003, the President proposed funding to the Federal Emergency Management System to update and transform flood maps nationwide using state of the art technology. The study throughout East Baton Rouge Parish began in 2004.
In 2009, FEMA began the transition from the Map Modernization to Risk Mapping Assessment (Risk Assessment Mapping Planning Partners-RAMPP) to work closely with state, local and tribal agencies to deliver quality data to increase public awareness to reduce risk and save lives.
Through RAMPP, the City of Zachary was given the opportunity to request additional detailed studies of streams or waterways affecting these areas.
At that time, Zachary officials requested studies of White’s Bayou, Upper Cypress Bayou and its tributaries and Redwood Creek. In response to the request, additional technical studies were performed of White’s Bayou and Redwood Creek. Preliminary maps were presented to the City of Zachary in January 2011.
Zachary officials held a town meeting last year on March 24 to present the proposed maps to the public, to discuss the proposed changes and to receive input from the community.
Officials also encouraged the public to review the maps and contact the city with any discrepancies or information that could contribute to the accuracy of the maps.
In June 2011 the official 90 day review period of the maps began. This was an opportunity given to the municipality to request changes or additional data.
The City of Zachary contracted an independent engineering firm during that period to review the topographic and survey data and compare the HEC-RAS model geometry for Upper White’s Bayou to confirm the final map data. The review confirmed the data depicted on the map as being accurate.
The City of Zachary is required to adopt by ordinance the new flood maps to become effective June 19, 2012, in order to comply with Federal Regulations.
Angie Knaps, City of Zachary Certified Floodplain Manager, was encouraged by the new flood plain maps and found that the overall numbers of houses at risk of flooding had decreased.
As of today, City of Zachary has over $107,000,000 coverage, with over 490 flood polices written.
“Hopefully, citizens will notice a change in their area and be eligible for reduced flood insurance premiums,” KNaps said.
Residents are reminded that if the risk for a property changes, so may the requirement to carry flood insurance. Know your risk. If you would like to view the proposed maps or would like to know how the new maps will affect you, please contact the City of Zachary Inspections Office at 654-6873.