Flooding in New Orleans, August
29, 2005. Federal officials have released updated flood maps
for the New Orleans area. But they say some flood elevations
may be changed once repairs and upgrades to the New Orleans
levee system are complete.
Photo: Petty Officer 2nd Class Kyle Niemi, Army
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) published new
flood elevation maps for New Orleans on February 6. Maps of the
flood plain are part of FEMA's responsibility under the
National Flood Insurance Program, which requires homes to be
located above the official Base Flood Elevation in order to be
covered by Federally-backed flood insurance.
But the new elevations on this set of maps won't be applied to
flood insurance requirements for now, according to this report
New Orleans Times-Picayune.
They're only temporary, officials say — because when
the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers completes planned levee
improvements (scheduled to occur by 2011), some flood risks
will be removed or reduced in areas protected by the
For now, local governments are taking partial steps in
response to the new maps. Jefferson Parish is going to modify
elevation requirements in just some locations, reported the
Times-Picayune; St. Charles and St. Bernard Parishes will
probably leave things as they are. New Orleans and Plaquemines
have yet to decide.
for the New Orleans area are posted