Levees and Flood Insurance Frequently Asked Questions

  • Each year a line item on our tax bill is for the Lafourche Levee District. According to a recent interview, Lafourche Levees are in good condition. Why aren't SCP WB levees in as good a condition?

    The Lafourche Basin Levee District is responsible for maintaining 60+ miles of federally funded river levees on the West Bank of St. Charles Parish and similar levees in St. John the Baptist, St. James, Ascension and Assumption parishes. The parish entered into a cooperative endeavor agreement with Lafourche Basin Levee District to plan and construct its West Bank Hurricane Protection Levee in 2008. Construction on the Willowridge Reach began in 2013. Squabbles over alignments in previous years prevented the levee from being constructed at an earlier date.

    Lafourche Parish also has two other levee districts that represent different parts of that parish. The North Lafourche Levee District represents the areas west of the St. Charles / Lafourche Parish line in Des Allemands. They are the ones constructing the new bulkhead on the Lafourche side of the bayou. Also, they maintain the Larose levees.

    Southern parts of Lafourche Parish are represented by the South Lafourche Levee District. This levee district is in the process of constructing a local version of the Morganza-to-the-Gulf project, which is federally authorized, but not funded.

    St. Charles Parish residents do not pay property tax millages to either of these two Lafourche-only districts.

    The Lafourche Basin Levee District has an agreement with the North Lafourche Levee District to be the sole party responsible for any alignment that comes out of Donaldsonville-to-the-Gulf studies, which includes the Highway 90 alignment.That alignment would offer protection to the West Bank of St. Charles Parish.

    All property tax millages that are paid by St. Charles Parish residents are returned to St. Charles Parish in the form of levee maintenance within the parish and in-kind services, etc.

  • How much will the levee project for the West Bank cost to complete?

    Roughly $300 million.

  • How often will FEMA change the flood maps?

    St. Charles Parish Coastal Zone Manager Earl Matherne has advised that there is no regular map update schedule. FEMA updates maps when funds are available or sometimes after larger developments such as flood protection project completions and/or major flooding events.
  • Is an A99 better or worse than an AE? Is an AE better or worse than an 0.2PCT Annual Chance? Please explain the different ratings.

    You can see an explanation of the different flood zones at the FEMA website.

    AE zones are higher-risk than 0.2PCT Annual Chance zones. A99 zones are areas with a 1 percent annual chance of flooding that will be protected by a federal flood control system where construction has reached specified legal requirements. No depths or base flood elevations are shown within these zones; therefore, AE zones are higher-risk than A99 zones.

  • When will the Montz (West Shore) levee be built?

    The project is expected to be approved by Congress in May 2015. At that point the region can begin to request funding from the federal government to begin construction.
  • Where can I obtain an elevation certificate for my property?

    If a certificate is on file with the Planning and Zoning Office, you may obtain a copy from that office by contacting them.

  • Why does most of the East Bank have a federal levee but not the West Bank?

    The East Bank levee already had an agreed-upon alignment, was permitted by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and thus became eligible for federal funding after Hurricane Katrina as part of the HSDRRS project that surrounds the greater New Orleans area.

    The West Bank did not have this scenario at the time. 

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