US – After two years of mapping and research, the Federal Emergency Management Agency has released new flood maps for residents of Slidell and the rest of St. Tammany Parish.
FEMA, state and parish officials will hold an open house meeting for all parish residents Wednesday from 2-8 p.m. at the Pitcher Junior High School gymnasium located at 415 S. Jefferson Ave. in Covington.
The new maps are important for all residents because they illustrate the areas prone to flooding and those that have a low risk of flooding.
The National Flood Insurance Program uses these maps to set insurance rates for homeowners.
The new flood maps have been upgraded from the last maps made in 1984 and contain new flood base elevations.
The new maps are preliminary drafts, and one of the purposes of the open house Wednesday is to get public input on how changes should be made.
Slidell City Engineer Donna O’Dell said the new maps have new zones for the city, and some residents may now be in zones not prone to flooding.
“These people will need to be notified to purchase flood insurance before the new maps go into effect,” O’Dell said.
FEMA officials said the new maps, which still have a year to go before they are finalized, will help home and business owners understand the current flood risks in their community and how to protect their property.
The maps will also be used by city planners and engineers to make decision on where developments should be built to mitigate flood damage.
Officials said maps for all municipalities in the parish, except for Sun, will be available for residents at the open house. FEMA planners will be there to answer questions and talk about how the maps were created. They will also discuss the benefits and requirements for flood insurance under the NFIP.
Slidell residents can view the detailed maps that cover the seven City Council districts by going to the city’s Web site at www.slidell.la.us.
Maps of the rest of St. Tammany Parish are available at the site www.lamappingproject.com. Slidell residents can also view the maps in the city’s departments of Engineering, Planning, and Building and Safety Permits.
Residents can get the maps at the open house, which will be available in both paper and digital formats. There will be at least 10 computers at the open house so residents can call up specific locations.