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New Orleans Elevations Project for Pre-FIRM Structures

NEW ORLEANS, LA - An extensive drainage system and new drainage projects within the city for the past 80 years have caused subsidence and turned the city's overall topography into a saucer configuration. The city is bounded by Lake Pontchartrain on the north and the Mississippi River on the south. New Orleans is, thus, susceptible to flooding from heavy rainfall, or surrounding water that breaches or overflows its levees.

The City of New Orleans and Orleans Parish currently has a total of 4,279 structures on the National Flood Insurance Program’s (NFIP) repetitive loss list.

Structure elevation has been considered an effective alternative in many situations to eliminate the flood damages to a flood prone structure. Recent technology has substantially reduced the cost to elevate the complete concrete slab structure with the slab attached. Typically the elevation process is less disruptive than experiencing another flood and is cost effective for repetitive loss structures. The process does not adversely affect the environment because construction remains within the existing footprint of the structure.

The project consists of the elevation of 11 pre-FIRM (pre Flood Insurance Rate Map) structures on the NFIP target repetitive loss list. Damages to all 11 structures since 1978 are documented to be nearly $1.5 million. At this rate, the total damages over the next 50 years would be estimated at more than $7 million.

The total cost of the elevation project is estimated to be more than $1.6 million.

Standard Homeowner's insurance policies do not cover flood damage. The National Flood Insurance Program makes Federally backed flood insurance available to homeowners, renters, and business owners in participating communities.

Last updated June 3, 2020