St. Martin

Nov 18, 2013 7:28 PM by Akeam Ashford

Flood Insurance Rates Could Spike In 2014

Saint Martin Parish, along with other coastal parish leaders, continues to ask for a delay of the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) rate increase for four years.

Last week, both the U.S. House of Representatives and the Senate introduced bills that would do just that, holding off major hikes in insurance for many who live along the coast.

Right now, St. Martin is in the planning stages of building a $3 million dollar flood wall, flood gate, and water pump station to protect hundreds along Lake Palourde.

According to parish president Guy Cormier, even after the parish makes the necessary changes, the federal government could still charge residents higher insurance rates. He's hoping this move will help keep rates in his parish down.

"None of the local government folks knew this even existed until about four or five months ago," Cormier said.

According to Cormier, if Congress doesn't approve to delay the act, rates in the parish, on average, could go from a few hundred dollars to $5,000.

"It's ridiculous that these people's rates would have to go up that high," says Cormier.

According to FEMA guidelines, all buildings have to be at least 6 feet above sea level.

Elwood Scully owns a home and manufacturing business in the community. In 2011, he spent $80,000 to protect his business.

"This flood protection is a vital importance to our area back here. We have an aging subdivision here. People are making less money not more money, so it creates a problem for residents," says Scully.

According to Cormier, both houses of Congress will vote on whether to delay the act in a few weeks.

The parish will begin work on the storm surge protection project next fall.

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