JEFFERSON PARISH -- It has been years in the making, and finally Jefferson Parish officials got the news they were hoping for.
On Wednesday, FEMA finalized the flood map for the parish.
"I feel great about it. A lot of areas are going to see changes," said Jefferson Parish President, Mike Yenni. "This is something that we all as an administration have pushed for to make sure this would happen."
Many residents could see savings in flood insurance from a couple of hundred to even a couple of thousand dollars.
"To give you a great idea on what this will do for the average homeowner, in Lafitte, people are going to go from a 'VE Zone' to an 'AE Zone,'" Yenni said. "They're going to move from a 'VE' to an 'AE' that's going to be $3,000 in savings per year. Anywhere else in Jefferson Parish that goes into a better zone could be anywhere $400-$800 in savings a year on their flood insurance."
X is the best zone, then there's the "AE Zone" (which a lot of people are currently in right now), and then the "VE Zone."
"That's fantastic news," said resident Eric Messa. "That's great to hear. Anything that can save us some money is wonderful."
The new map shows what changes FEMA is proposing. Some areas would require flood insurance while other areas wouldn't. If you find yourself living in part of the map that doesn't require insurance that's great news. However, it's strongly encouraged you think twice before doing away with it.
"There's no day I would ever say we don't need flood insurance in Jefferson Parish," Yenni said. "You absolutely are going to need it because we don't know what could happen. Mother Nature's wrath can hit us at any point at any time and the best thing you can do is be protected."
For Messa, it's advice he strongly agrees with.
"I live in an area that doesn't require flood insurance, but of course I have it to be safe," he said. "Looking at Baton Rouge they had never flooded before either until last year and then they all flooded. So just because it's never happened before doesn't mean it can't happen."
The change in flood insurance rates is welcomed by many. And they hope for its final passing when the Parish Council addresses it in the upcoming weeks.
Once approved, the change in insurance rates will start Feb. 2, 2018.
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