Hurricane Rita Surge Inundation and Advisory Base Flood Elevation Maps

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Cameron Parish, Louisiana

FEMA has developed Hurricane Rita Surge Inundation and Advisory Base Flood Elevation Maps (referred to as, “Rita Recovery Maps”) to aid Cameron Parish property owners to repair or rebuild structures to newly determined advisory coastal flood elevations. These maps are based on Flood Recovery Guidance for Cameron Parish (PDF 118KB) that FEMA published in November 2005.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I find the Rita Recovery Map that shows my property?

Cameron Parish Image Map Thumbnail

To locate a particular property, the first step is to determine which detailed Rita Recovery Map panel applies to the area of interest. Users should first consult the Cameron Parish Index Map (PDF, 0.7 MB), which shows which panels were produced and what area is covered by each. Panel numbers are shown in green text (e.g., PP25). Panels were only produced for areas where structures or other significant development could be observed on recent aerial photography.

Once the detailed Rita Recovery Map panel number is known, it can be opened by clicking on the corresponding panel number on the parish map immediately below. The panel will open up in the internet browser window using the Adobe Acrobat Reader software. The Rita Recovery Map panels range in size from 1.1 MB to 2.0 MB.

FF23 FF24 FF25 FF26 FF27 FF28 FF29 FF33 FF35 FF36 FF37 FF38 FF39 FF40 FF41 FF42
EE23 EE24 EE25 EE26 EE27 EE28 EE29 EE30 EE31 EE32 EE33 EE34 EE35 EE36 EE37 EE38 EE39 EE40 EE41 EE42
DD23 DD24 DD25 DD26 DD27 DD28 DD29 DD31 DD33 DD42
CC23 CC25 CC26 CC27 CC28 CC29 CC41 CC42
BB25 BB26 BB27 BB40 BB41 BB42
AA26 AA27
Z26 Z27 Z28 Z29 Z30
Y23 Y24 Y25 Y26 Y27 Y28 Y29 Y30 Y31 Y32 Y33 Y34 Y35
X23 X24 X25 X26 X27 X28 X29 X30 X31 X32 X33 X34 X35
W25 W26 W27 W28 W29 W30 W31 W32 W33 W34 W35
V30 V31 V32 V33 V34 V35 V36 V37 V38
U32 U33 U34 U35 U36 U37 U38 U39 U40 U41
T35 T36 T37 T38 T39 T40 T41

FF6 FF8 FF10 FF12 FF13 FF17 FF18 FF19 FF20 FF21 FF22
EE9 EE10 EE12 EE13 EE16 EE17 EE18 EE19 EE21 EE22
DD10 DD11 DD12 DD15 DD16 DD17 DD18 DD19 DD21 DD22
CC17 CC18 CC19
Z13
Y5 Y6 Y9 Y10 Y13 Y14 Y15 Y16 Y17 Y18 Y19 Y20 Y21 Y22
X1 X2 X3 X4 X5 X6 X7 X8 X9 X10 X11 X13 X14 X15 X16 X17 X18 X19 X20 X21 X22
W1 W2 W3 W4 W5 W6 W7 W8 W9 W10 W11 W12 W13 W14 W15 W16 W17 W18 W19 W20 W21
V6 V7 V8

Rita Recovery Maps are for advisory purposes only; they do not supersede effective Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRMs). The Hurricane Rita-related data presented are preliminary and subject to update as additional data become available.

How do I determine what Advisory Base Flood Elevation (ABFE) applies to my property?

The Rita Recovery Maps depict ABFEs (that is, elevations that FEMA recommends be used for rebuilding) for defined areas or zones. The visual appearance of these advisory zones and elevations was intentionally made similar to the format of flood hazard data shown FEMA’s FIRMs. [Note: Individuals unfamiliar with FIRMs can view the online tutorial, “How to Read a Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM).”]

On the Rita Recovery Maps, each ABFE zone is outlined in yellow and is labeled with the applicable advisory flood zone type and whole-foot elevation (e.g., ABFE Zone VE Elevation 16). ABFEs are measured relative to the National Geodetic Vertical Datum of 1929 (NGVD29), or roughly sea level. The whole-foot ABFE listed on each contour can be directly applied to properties located within the zone. On some maps, a thick yellow line marks the inland limit of the ABFEs; landward of this line, ABFEs do not apply.

I know my ABFE. How high above ground does this mean I have to elevate my structure?

Since the ABFEs are measured relative to NGVD29 (or roughly sea level), property owners will need ground elevations to determine how high above grade a structure should be elevated to meet the ABFE. Property owners are advised to consult with a licensed surveyor or professional engineer to determine ground elevations at their site. Once the ground elevation is known, it can be subtracted from the ABFE to calculate the height above grade that a structure’s first floor (in A Zones) or lowest horizontal structural member (in V Zones) should be elevated.

How did FEMA determine what areas got flooded by Hurricane Rita’s storm surge, and should I be concerned if I think the surge limits are inaccurate?

FEMA used the best data available at the time the recovery mapping was completed to estimate the extent and magnitude of Hurricane Rita’s storm surge. To develop this data layer, surge-only High Water Marks (HWMs) collected by FEMA shortly after the storm were compared to detailed, pre-storm topographic data provided by the State of Louisiana. In some areas, few or no HWMs were available to help guide the mapping; in these cases, surge inundation limits were interpolated from more distant HWMs, with coastal engineering judgment and eyewitness accounts (when available) used to complete the mapping. As a result of these and other data limitations, the mapped Rita surge limits may over- or underestimate the actual coastal flooding that occurred.

The ABFEs, not the estimated Rita surge limits or surge heights, are what FEMA is advising be used for rebuilding, so there should be no negative impact on property owners if the Rita limits were over- or underestimated. If property owners have detailed documentation concerning the height and/or extent of Rita’s surge flooding that differs from the data shown on the Rita Recovery Maps, they can submit this information through the recovery mapping helpline link listed below. Unless there becomes a need to completely reanalyze the Rita surge and remap large areas, FEMA will only be able to use submitted information to help improve the surge inundation modeling and mapping procedures for future recovery mapping efforts.


For inquiries concerning Louisiana, please visit the Louisiana coastal mapping project web site or e-mail the helpline at: info@lamappingproject.com.

Last Updated: 
01/18/2013 - 16:22
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