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JEFFERSONPARISH, La. -- New flood maps proposed by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) mean some Jefferson Parish homeowners are now in areas considered flood zones.

The new maps have many residents concerned about the future of their homes, and last week, some of those concerned residents went looking for answers, at the first open house put on by Jefferson Parish officials.

The flood maps are used to set flood insurance premiums and nearly 5,300 homeowners now live in areas considered flood zones, which means higher insurance rates for residents.

In addition, those higher insurance rates will have to be paid by November of this year, and homeowners will have to pay even more money to pay for new elevation certificates.

Last month, FEMA opened the 90-day comment and appeals period for the proposed Jefferson Parish flood maps.

Parish officials say that is why the parish is holding a series of open houses, so residents can submit their own appeals, and, like the parish, residents must submit their own appeals by Sept. 30.

The last three Jefferson Parish public meetings are this week.

Today's meeting is from 10 a.m. until 8 p.m. at the West Bank Regional Library Meeting Room on Manhattan Boulevard in Harvey.

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