Flood Insurance Costs Increase in Louisiana

The city of Lake Charles in southwest Louisiana has been subject to two hurricanes and intense rains over the past year.

Tommy Eastman could lose coverage on his four-bedroom home, which has so far been unaffected by flood damage, because of rising costs for his flood insurance.

Risk Rating 2.0 will affect a huge amount of Louisiana residents

Millions of homeowners will see rate increases that more accurately reflect the risk of their property under a federal flood insurance program. This includes the large majority of the 1.7million homeowners who have relatively low policies in areas that federal officials previously deemed low- or moderate-risk — and where coverage can be withdrawn.

It is partly intended to increase the cost of developing in high-risk areas. Some worry that the increased cost of flood insurance will make it more difficult for homeowners to purchase or maintain flood coverage. This is especially true in areas where there are middle- and upper-class residents.

“We don’t have high-rise condos and we don’t have sandy beaches. It’s a working coast in Louisiana,” stated Jim Donelon (Louisiana’s insurance commissioner).

According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency, its new insurance program takes into account individual property characteristics such as their proximity to water, cost to rebuild, and flood risk. These risks are increasing in many areas of the country as climate change increases hurricane strength and intensity.

How many people will be affected by Risk Rating 2.0

The new program, Risk Rating 2.0, will result in higher prices for approximately three-quarters of federal flood insurance policies (4.9 million), and lower prices for the rest. FEMA estimates that 90% of voluntary policyholders living in single-family homes are likely to see their premiums rise. FEMA stated that it expects to collect 50% more premiums as a result of the new program.

David Maurstad (a senior executive at the National Flood Insurance Program) stated, “We learned that the old method of looking at risk had many gaps, which understated a home’s flood risk, and communicated a false feeling of security.”


Since the Trump administration introduced the plan in 2019, members of Louisiana’s congressional delegation raised alarm.

U.S. Reps. Steve Scalise, Garret Graves and Garret Graves are Republicans representing the Houma–Thibodaux region. They sent a Sept. 14 letter to FEMA officials requesting that the agency delay the new rates. According to the letter, a homeowner in Larose requested a flood insurance policy. The premium would be $572 annually and take effect on September 30. The annual premium was $5,531 when the policy was moved to Oct. 8, to allow for the 30-day waiting period before coverage begins.

What are Louisiana politicians doing about it?

Two U.S. senators from Louisiana, John Kennedy and Bill Cassidy (Republicans) are the sponsors of a bill that they claim aims to reform and prevent price rises that could make coverage inaccessible for many coastal residents.

Kennedy stated that Louisiana flood insurance is needed to protect homes and businesses in Louisiana. The National Flood Insurance Program protects families and workers who have to take care of their most important investments, their homes. This program must be extended and protected from political manipulations.


Some will pay less, most will pay more

FEMA estimates that 20% of state policyholders will experience immediate cost reductions. Seventy-five percent of policyholders will see their insurance costs rise by as much as $120 per year, while 7% will see an increase of up to $240 per year. 3% will see prices rise more than that.

The Risk Rating 2.0 guidelines limit increases in cost at 18% per year.
However, Louisiana legislators and others complain that these increases will make flood insurance more expensive for homeowners every four years.


The new system does not change the requirements for coverage, although flood risk is increasing across the country. Flood insurance is required for government-backed mortgages.

Many banks also require flood insurance for high-risk mortgages. FEMA stated that flood maps don’t predict flooding but help communities to make decisions about building.

Recent losses

Recent years have seen homeowners who live in areas where insurance is not required to suffer losses of billions of dollars. A representative from FEMA told Congress that nearly 40% of flood claims FEMA received between 2017 and 2019 were for properties located outside areas where insurance is required.
Matthew Eby, Executive Director of First Street Foundation, which produces detailed maps of flood risks, said that many properties are at risk outside of flood zones.

Future flooding

First Street estimates that 14.6 million properties in the United States are at significant risk of flooding. This is far greater than the flood insurance policies the federal government has.
This year, a Government Accountability Office report recommended that the federal government revise the rules for who is eligible to receive coverage to protect more vulnerable homes from flooding.

GAO also found that FEMA’s flood maps did not accurately reflect climate science and key flood hazards like heavy rain.

What is the timeline for Risk Rating 2.0?

FEMA stated that it hasn’t studied how rate changes will impact voluntary flood insurance take-up and have not disclosed any details about how premiums will rise beyond the first year.
According to Congressional Research Service, Risk Rating 2.0 will better indicate a home’s flood risk. However, higher premiums “may lead to some properties being considered unaffordable.”

FEMA’s flood insurance program is $20.5 million in debt. Rates can be raised and more people will opt for coverage. Many insurance experts claim that U.S. taxpayers have heavily subsidized flood insurance since its inception in 1968. They don’t charge rates that accurately reflect a home’s risk. Most flood insurance policies in America are underwritten by the federal government.

FEMA’s new rates went into effect for new policyholders in October. New rates will take effect for existing policyholders in April. To find out how rates will change, policyholders should call their insurers. Risk Rating 2.0 will adjust the prices for each policy individually, unlike previous increases that were applied to large groups of policies.

How will this affect behavior

Joel Scata, an attorney at the Natural Resources Defense Council and environmental advocacy group, stated that higher rates will make flood risk more apparent. This would encourage homeowners to obtain insurance in areas where coverage may be voluntary. He suggested that Congress should address affordability issues for families with lower incomes.

Aric Pohorelsky is a Lake Charles resident who envisions a different scenario. A flood policy covering a home measuring 3,700 square feet costs him $517 per year. However, he estimates that the same policy would cost $5,000 to a new homeowner.

If people are leaving in large numbers, he doesn’t believe it will be due to Risk Rating 2.0. “I believe it will be because of the stress involved in dealing with major hurricanes.”

Hurricane Delta Updates

Hurricane Delta Updates

Looks like we are looking at the next storm in this historic 2020 hurricane season for Southern Louisiana.  As of Wednesday morning, it looks like the Lafayette area is going to be hit again, with an even more potentially damaging storm.

Because of the speed of the Hurricane Delta, flooding in Louisiana doesn’t look to be the main issue with this storm, we can still see devastating winds and property damage.

We’re continuing to track Hurricane Delta, which remains a Category 4 storm with maximum sustained winds at 130 mph. Delta is expected to make landfall on the northeastern coast of the Yucatan Peninsula Wednesday morning and is forecast to be in the southern Gulf by mid-week

Hurricane Irma’s Deadly Path

Hurricane Irma

With Hurricane Irma being the most powerful (Atlantic) storm in recorded history heading towards the mainland US, many people are worried about what is next.  After rolling over the islands of  Antigua and Barbuda on Tuesday and into Wednesday, the massive category 5 storm is set to hit the Dominican Republic and Haiti on Thursday.  Ultimately moving toward Florida on Friday and slamming Miami over the weekend.

The Caribbean Gets Pounded

The massive storm has already caused major damage and loss of life to the Caribbean.  The storm hit parts of the Caribbean islands on Wednesday with heavy rain and powerful winds.  As the most powerful Atlantic Ocean hurricane in recorded history, we expect much more damage to come.

With the expected path of Irma to be cutting North right before it hits the tip of Florida, that is cutting it very close for many Floridians.  Whether you live in Fort Lauderdale, the Florida Keys or Panama City Beach – you should be nervous and seriously thinking about evacuating.

hurricane irma expected path

Danger For Florida

Needless to say, even with the improvements in hurricane tracking,  Hurricane Irma is giving the supercomputers a run for their money.  It won’t take much of a deviation in its current trajectory to have massive implications to the waterfront condos in Florida.   Although some have chosen to evacuate, we are seeing an unusual amount of Florida residents planning to ride out the storm.

On Friday in the evening time, the massive hurricane is expected to make landfall near the archipelago of the Florida Keys.  The governor of Florida, Rick Scott has ordered an evacuation.  As we know from previous storms, the path could change at any time — but most forecasts predict pretty similar outcomes.

As of this point, supplies for hunkering down for the storm, are running low in Florida.  Here is a picture taken from the water isle in a major store in Panama City Beach.

hurricane supplies run low

Miami Preps for Irma

Miami Fl is prepping for some major winds and flooding.  The Miami Mayor was quoted as saying this is a “nuclear hurricane”

“I don’t advise (riding it out),” Mayor Levine said. “We don’t need heroes.”

“I never thought I’d say this … leave Miami Beach. Don’t come to Miami Beach,”

he told CNN.

Updates To Come

We will be following the path of Hurricane Irma and will be updating THIS URL over the next days as Hurricane Irma makes landfall in the US.

Follow Live #TropicalStormCindy on Twitter

This is the live Twitter Feed for Tropical Storm Cindy

#TropicalStormCindy on Twitter


Tropical Storm May Bring More Flooding to Louisiana

Tropical Storm Cindy

Update: 6-21-2017 11:30 AM

With rain and winds most of the night but waking up to sunny skies, many Louisianans are feeling that we have missed a bullet with Tropical Storm Cindy.  Truth is… The storm has yet to make landfall.

Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards issued a statewide State of Emergency Declaration Wednesday morning as preparations for severe flooding were underway.

As time progresses, Tropical Storm Cindy looks to be a major rain event.  Some tornadoes have been spotted in Mississippi and a water spout over the Mississippi Gulf Coast waters.  As of now, we have not seen any major flooding in Louisiana, but we are anticipating much more rain over the next 48 hours.

Video of Waterspout over Mississippi Gulf Coast

Updates as they happen

We will continue to update this page as the storm progresses providing updates on flooding in Louisiana, road closures and housing shelter options.

Video Update as of Tuesday Night

Tropical Storm City is currently heading toward Louisiana with anticipated heavy winds and rainfall.  The storm is moving very slowly, which means it has the possibility of gaining in strength over the warm waters in the Gulf of Mexico.  Although no one truly knows exactly where the tropical storm will make landfall, Louisiana will surely see a lot of rain over the next few days.

Possible Louisiana Flooding

tropical stormWith many of the predictions of Tropical Storm Cindy making landfall to the west of Louisiana, we anticipate seeing a tremendous amount of rain and potential flooding.  With the “worst part” of the storm being directly to the East of where the storm makes landfall, we could see major disruptions in the Louisiana economy including flooding, property damage and loss of work for many Louisianans.

Rainfall is anticipated to reach six to twelve inches or more across Louisiana with the possibility of up to twenty inches of rainfall if the storm continues to move slowly and gain in strength over the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico.  Tropical Storm Cindy is expected to make landfall Wednesday night or Thursday morning.  Anyone in affected areas should be extremely diligent in there preparations.

Damage to Louisiana Industries

Louisiana has seen its share of destructive weather.  Many industries are affected by tropical storms and hurricanes, especially in Southern Louisiana.  The Southern most part of the state is extremely vulnerable to major disruptions.  Charter fisherman out of Venice have been securing their boats and hoping for the best.  Storm surges, in the cities such as Venice LA, can have a devastating effect on the fragile economy.

Storm Impacts

The Hurricane Center has warned of the following:

  • HEAVY RAINFALL:  Cindy is expected to produce rain in excess of six to nine inches with isolated maximum amounts of over twelve inches over southeastern Louisiana through Thursday. This rainfall could cause life-threatening flash flooding in these areas.
  • Rainfall amounts of 3 to 5 inches with isolated maximum amounts of 6 inches can be expected farther west across southwest Louisiana into southeast Texas through Thursday.
  • DAMAGING WIND:  Tropical storm conditions are expected to first reach the coast within the warning area later tonight and spread westward within the warning area through early Thursday.
  • STORM SURGE:  Inundation of 1 to 3 feet above ground level is likely, especially in the coastal areas of Louisiana such as Venice La and along the coast in portions of the Tropical Storm Warning area.
  • TORNADOES:  Isolated tornadoes are possible this evening and tonight from south-central Louisiana to the western Florida Panhandle.

Additional Damage from Tropical Weather

Not only do the winds, flooding and hail bring tremendous damage, but in many instances of tropical weather include tornadoes spawned by the storm.  Tornadoes from tropical weather knock down power lines, tree limbs and usually cause power outages in their wake.  In can take days or even weeks to restore power to the affected areas.

Emergency Contact Information

We will do our best to keep you informed of the ongoing storm and its repercussions.  All should have emergency numbers and websites ready…just in case.
The National Hurricane Center is a great source of real time information as are some of the local media outlets.   You can track the store with the local Fox affiliate here.








FEMA’s Route to SBA – No Government Assistance in Repayment

Where Will The $1.3 Billion Go?

Those of us who had to borrow money from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) to rebuild our homes after the catastrophic August flood as of now,  are  not getting government funds to help pay off that debt.  flood

As we stood in the stifling heat, under the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) tents, we wanted advice. Good advice.  We did what FEMA said to do.  FEMA adjusters came out, some FEMA money was paid out, then we were advised to go the SBA route to borrow the money to complete the repairs on our homes.  Thirty year loans now attached to our already first mortgages, and no help in sight.

That was the word Monday, February 6th, 2017, during a public  hearing at the Baton Rouge Community College’s Mid-City campus.

Low-Moderate Income, and Disabled will Receive Aide

As of now, the plan prioritizes low- to moderate-income households that are outside the 100-year floodplain, and did not have flood insurance.  These include households that have disabled family members and got at least a foot of water. The funding will help an estimated 36,000 households statewide for the floods in March, and the most recent catastrophic flooding in August, 2016.

Overlooking the Middle Class?

lafloodThose who live in the 100-year-flood plain, many in the Sherwood Forest area, are now staring at 30-year loans. People in their mid 50’s & 60’s are not going to be financially able to absorb this additional payments, and plan to retire.  These are part of the middle class that government aid programs often overlook.

The federal government considers the loans a “grant” and a benefit that cannot be duplicated under the law. Though Gov. John Bel Edwards is seeking changes to that, and other limitations imposed on the plan, by the U.S. Department of Housing and Development and the federal law.

Grant Vs. Loan

The SBA piece continues to cause frustration to us since it IS a loan,  it is not a grant. The governor is asking for a reversal of that. The governor said Congress allowed repayment of SBA loans after Hurricane Katrina, through special programs, but that is the only example officials know of.

Coming Up Short

The state plan sets aside $1.3 billion for homeowner programs, that is still $2 billion less than what Edwards had asked Congress for last year.  The result, the program has had to narrow who is eligible.

The initial plan in December had even tighter restrictions. State officials heard from residents during an earlier round of public comments that the state needs to provide more funds to the people.  This plan will offer some reimbursement of out-of-pocket flood recovery expenses.

With the funds available, and the plans to distribute these funds, the middle class will be out of luck-again.  Nobody is going to deny that funds to the elderly, disabled and low income need to be a priority, but we can’t help but feel penalized for following the instructions of FEMA early on.

It is a wait and see now.  President Trump toured our area and gave out supplies during his visit.  Hopefully, we are still at the forefront of a very busy President’s mind in his first 100 days in office.

Housing Shortage

With all of the homes that have flooded, we have seen many previous homeowners scramble to find a suitable place to live while they rebuild.  Many people are being forced to commute back to their jobs in the area from hours away.  One of the places that has seen an influx of renters and home buyers due to the flood is Picayune MS.  With the inexpensive home prices and the relative proximity to the flooded area, Picayune homes have seen a spike in home sales.  Other areas that have seen a spike in home sales due to flooded homeowners needing to temporarily relocate is Slidell LA and some other smaller towns around the area.



Find Louisiana Shelters

In need of temporary shelter from the recent Louisiana flooding?  Below is the list of shelters in Louisiana


Obama Approves Disaster Funds

On Sunday evening, President Obama officially granted a major disaster declaration request for East Baton Rouge, Livingston, St. Helena, and Tangipahoa parishes. Officials said that more parishes will be added on a rolling basis as more assessments are made.

When the President declares a disaster, it makes the way for federal funds to be released including direct assistance from FEMA.  The disaster declaration also paves the way for federal disaster assistance in the form of financial help for the thousands of those affected, but don’t expect to see that immediately, but expect those funds to start flowing soon.


Road Closures

Below are the most recent road closures in Louisiana


Two major highways in Opelousas are closed because of flooding.  Police tell us that U. S. 190 East (Vine Street) and LA 182 North (Union Street) are both under water and impassable.  Police urge drivers to stay off the road.


According to police chief Rickey Boudreaux, the following roadways are closed in the city of Youngsville.

Nicole St
Maureen St
Alomaster Rd
Squirrel Run
North Larrivere
South Larrivere
Detente Rd
Savoy Road
Chemin Metarie from E. Milton to Fortune Road
E Milton from Veritable to Chenin Metarie
St Blaise Dr
Wild Rose
Cedar Lane
Bonin Road from Fortune to Ambassador
Lavilla Circle
Fountain View
Green Springs
Captain Rick
Cane Derrick
Cane Wagon
Griffin Road
Langlinais Rd
Guillot Road from Chemin Metarie to Post Road Forest Grove
Sugar Ridge Subdivision Chemin Agreeable
Hill Ridge Estates

Remind residents to stay off of roadways.


Lafayette Parish

LA 339 @ Blanco Road to Detente Road

US 90 @ LA 3073

LA 342 to LA 93

LA 92 from LA 182 to US 90

LA 92 near Mermentau Road

LA 339 from Vincent Rd to LA 92

LA 733 from Kaliste Saloom Rd to Vermilion River

US 90 @ LA 92- Lafayette/St. Martin Parish

Iberia Parish

US 90 @ LA 88

US 90 @ LA 675

US 90 @ LA 14

St. Martin Parish

LA 182 from LA 92 to LA 96

LA 96 from LA 182 to LA 31

LA 347 North of LA 678

LA 92 from LA 182 to US 90

Vermilion Parish

LA 685 in Erath

LA 335 from LA 35 to LA 3093

High Water on Roadways:

Lafayette Parish:

US-90 about ½ mile south of Morgan St. in Broussard.

LA 724 between Lagneaux and W. Broussard

St. Martin Parish:

LA 96 from LA 31 to LA 345

Iberia Parish:

LA 14 @ LA 83

US 90 @ LA 88

LA 182 (St. Peter Street) in New Iberia multiple locations.

LA 89 @ Raven Rd.

LA 14 @ LA 676 (Valerie Rd.)

Vermilion Parish:

LA 3267 (Jacqueline St.) @ John Henry & Hospital Drive

LA 14 ByPass in Abbeville @ North Lahasky & North Broadway St.

LA 14 @ LA 339

LA 14 @ Ollie Street

LA 82 @ Laf/Verm. Parish Line

LA 335 @ South Henry Street

LA 694 from LA 82 to Pumping Plant Rd.

US 167 southbound South of LA 696

St. Landry Parish

US 190 in Lawtell eastbound

LA 10 south of Washington

US 167 @ Texas Easton Road

LA 749 @ Deprimeaux Lane

LA 93 @ I-49

Evangeline Parish

US 167 south of LA 748


Body Found in Flooded Car

The death toll continues to rise as Baton Rouge police say they have recovered the body of a woman from inside a flooded vehicle in Baton Rouge.

Casey Rayborn Hicks, a spokeswoman for the East Baton Rouge Sheriff’s Office, says witnesses say the woman was seen last night attempting to turn around in high water when her vehicle was swept away.

The woman’s name will be released following family notification.

That would appear to raise the death toll from the widespread flooding to five people but officials could not be immediately reached to confirm the numbers.

Heavy rains have swollen rivers and caused widespread flooding across southern Louisiana.  People are still seeking evacuation and in desperate need of assistance.