DENHAM SPRINGS – FEMA has given Livingston Parish a deadline to come up with a flood prevention plan or thousands of property owners will be at risk of losing flood insurance.
The parish received a letter from the agency dated last month, saying that at least 4,000 properties that flooded in 2016 were at risk of losing flood insurance. A master plan is needed within three months—including ordinances and required elevation.
One homeowner has lived in Denham Springs for 23 years and never flooded until 2016.
“We had no flood insurance, so we had to pay for it,” Esther Wilson told WBRZ. “We qualify for an SBA loan, but everything else, we had to pay for it.”
After $100,000 in damage, Wilson now has flood insurance. She says she doesn’t understand why the parish doesn’t already have a flood prevention in place.
“It’s been three years since the flood,” Wilson said. “I’m surprised they have either followed directions or checked it out to make sure we’re covered.”
Parish President Layton Ricks says he and the director of Homeland Security recently met with FEMA officials for guidance on the plan requirements. However, several insurance agents told WBRZ they’re concerned about the parish making the deadline.