Doug Mouton / Northshore Bureau Cheif

ST. TAMMANY, La. -- Many Northshore homeowners will soon see a reduction in their flood insurance premiums.

A change in St. Tammany's community ratings will add up to $1.9 million in savings to the 35,720 homeowners in unincorporated areas of the parish, according to St. Tammany leaders and FEMA.

Among homeowners with flood insurance, there are 8,061 homeowners in Slidell, 3,095 in Mandeville and 1,432 in Covington who are not affected because their cities have their own community rating.

FEMA dropped the rating in unincorporated St. Tammany from a nine to a seven.

Community ratings run from one to ten, the lower the better.

Neighbors in the Greenleaves Subdivision, which is in unincorporated St. Tammany, just outside the city limits of Mandeville, greeted the news with smiles.

'I think it's wonderful, absolutely wonderful. Anytime something goes down in my life, it's absolutely great,' Greenleaves homeowner Connie Burger said Thursday afternoon.

Greenleaves is not in a flood prone area, but it is south of I-12 and not far from Lake Pontchartrain, so many homeowners choose to buy flood insurance, even though it's not a requirement of their mortgages.

'I think you'd be crazy never to fear anything, because anywhere can flood,' Greenleaves homeowner Marvin Richards said. 'The midwest floods, everywhere floods.'

Homeowners like Richards and Burger will get a reduction in their rate when they renew their flood insurance policy.

'They should see a 10 -to- 15 percent decrease in that premium when they renew this year,' St. Tammany Parish President Kevin Davis said Thursday.

According to Davis, his staff worked with FEMA for two years to get their community rating down.

'We still don't have the levees, which would give us credits, so it's things like green space,' Davis said. 'GIS, our mapping system, our public works system on all of our drainage canals, those kinds of things give us higher points.'

The community rating is based on those points.

According to FEMA, three factors determine how much you pay for flood insurance:

  • Your flood zone according to the FEMA maps
  • Your home's elevation
  • Your community rating

Back in October, FEMA reduced the community rating across Jefferson Parish to a six.

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