Flood Plain Management - What you need to know!

INTRODUCTION

The Village of French Settlement is dedicated to minimizing the loss of life and property that is associated with flooding events.  Education and prevention are valuable and proven tools that help communities become resistant to these natural disasters.  The Village of French Settlement recongnizes that it's entire community is susceptible to flooding, not just those structures located within Special Flood Hazard Areas (SFHA's).  The following information has been provided to help inform property owners located within the SFHA, flood prone areas and also all property owners within the Village of French Settlement.  

FLOOD WARNING SYSTEM

If flooding is imminent and evacuation of the Village is advised, Mayor Lobell or the Police Chief of the Village of French Settlement will notify you through one or more of the following methods:

  • Village of French Settlement Official Facebook Page  Click the link to 'like and follow' the official FB page for up-to-date information.
  • Village website.  Click on the 'subscribe' button on the home page and subscribe for text/email alerts. 
  • Radio or Television

 

FLOOD HAZARD

Ponding or runoff produced by rainstorms and hurricanes causes occaisional localized flooding.  The most severe flooding is caused by backwater flooding from the Amite River and Colyell Bayou.  Southeast winds also have a substaintial impact during flood events.  It is estimated that a substaintial southeast wind of 30 MPH will rise the water surface at the mouth of the Amite River by 5 feet.  Significant flooding events in recents years occurred in 1957, 1962, 1964, 1967, 1973, 1977, 1979, 1983, 1985, 1990, 1993, 1994, 2001, 2016. 

The flood of record occurred in August of 2016, and is categorized as a 500 year flood event.  Louisiana Governor, John Bel Edwards, called the Flood of August 2016 disaster a "historic, unprecedented flooding event".  Rivers reached records levels. 

FLOOD SAFETY

Learn the safest route from your home or business to higher, safer ground, but stay turned to reports of changing flood conditions.  If emergency official tell you to evacuate or leave your home, go immediately to a safe shelter, hotel or a relative's house.

  • Turn off all utilities, gas and electricity at the main switch.
  • Stay away from power lines and electrical lines.
  • Be alert for gas leaks.  Do not walk through flowing water.
  • Drowning is the number one cause of flood related deaths.  Currents can be deceptive!  Six inches of moving water can knock you off of your feet.
  • Do not drive through a flooded area.  More people drown in their cars than in any other location.  Vehicles also push water into homes and cause additional property damage.

FLOOD INSURANCE

The purchase of Federal Flood Insurance is highly recommended.  Basic homeowner policies do not cover damage from flooding.  The Village of French Settlement participates in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP).  There is a 30 day waiting period for a flood insurance policy to become effective, unless you purchase flood insurance on the day of closing on your home.  If you live in a Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA) your bank/mortgage company will require you to purchase flood insurance. 

Mandatory Purchase Requirement:  The mandatory purchase requirement applies to all forms of Federal or Federally related financial assistance for buildings located in a Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA).  This requirement affects loans and grants for the purchase, construction, repair or improvement of any publicly or privately owned buildings in the SFHA, including machinery, equipment, fixtures and furnishings contained in such buildings.   

SUBSTANTIAL IMPROVEMENT REQUIREMENTS

  • What is substantial improvement?  The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) requires that any reconstruction, rehabilitation, addition or other improvement of a structure of which the cost equals or exceeds 50% of the market value of the structure before the start of construction or the improvement, must conform or meet the same construction requirements as a new building and be constructed above the minimum Base Flood Elevation (BFE) listed on the Village of French Settlement Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM). 
  • What is substantial damage?  Substantial damage means damage of any origin sustained by a building or structure when the cost of restoring the building to its pre-damaged condition would be equal to or exceed 50% of the market value of the building before the damage occurred.  Substantial damage is determined regardless of the actual repair work performed.  The Village of French Settlement requires by ordinance that any substantial improvement or susbtantial damage improvement must have a building permit.  Permit information can be obtained from the Livingston Parish Permit Office at (225) 686-3021.

DRAINAGE SYSTEM MAINTENANCE

It is illegal in the Village of French Settlement to dump any type of debris into a canal, stream, river or drainage ditch.  Debris can become entangled and impede drainage causing the flow of water to back up.  Citizens of French Settlement should also keep drainage ditches on their property free of debris, foilage and vegatation that would impede the flow of water.  Debris dumping should be reported to Mayor Lobell at the Village of French Settlement Town Hall or to the Police Department.

FLOOD PROTECTION ASSISTANCE

Concerned citizens and the general public can obtain information on flood protection assistance from Mayor Lobell at the Viillage of French Settlement Town Hall at (225) 698-6100 or email [email protected]

USEFUL WEBSITES

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I find out the flood zone where my property is located?

Click here:  http://maps.lsuagcenter.com/floodmaps

Click here:  https://msc.fema.gov/portal/home

Where can I purchase flood insurance?

Call your insurance agent.