FloodSmart in Louisiana

Patricia Skinner, Wolcott, Maurice C.  |  6/6/2016 8:29:05 PM

Your guide to LSU AgCenter online resources that help you prepare for and recover from the impacts of floods and hurricanes, and rebuild your homes and lives.

Be aware that the National Flood Insurance Program has both insurance and floodplain development regulatory features that may impact your recovery, and your consideration of how much you should invest in a building that may be seeing significant increases in insurance premiums. Visit this page provided by the Extension Disaster Education Network (EDEN).

Flood Insurance Program Issues in Recovery


How high the water? How low your property?

Flooding in Louisiana will arise as a combination of rain that falls where you are or upstream of your location, possibly combined with hurricane storm surge. Your best source of information for how high the flood will be in your area is your parish emergency manager.

River stage and forecast information is provided by the National Weather Service River Forecast Centers (NWS RFCs). The RFC responsible for Louisiana is the Lower Mississippi River Forecast Center (LMRFC) , located in Slidell, Louisiana. It should be noted that these forecasts are not provided in much of southeast Louisiana inside levee systems where there are no rivers and streams. It should be noted, also, that the extent to which the gauge forecasts include surge effects is not known.

It is important for people in Louisiana to understand that the flood risk they know from official tools (the effective Flood Insurance Rate Maps, or FIRMs), may be understated. FIRMs are used in real estate and insurance transactions once they have been adopted. Newer information is available in the form of preliminary, post-Katrina/Rita FIRMS that have not been adopted for official use.

Preliminary FIRMs can be viewed - over effective FIRMs, road maps and satellite images, and with ground elevation data - through http://www.lsuagcenter.com/FloodMaps.

The LSU AgCenter has two mapping services/sites that ANYONE can use to find ground elevation at ANY spot in Louisiana. If you are given a forecast for the flood level "at your place," you can subtract the ground elevation to estimate flood depth. One of these sites also shows the Flood Insurance Rate Maps for your area. These are not historic flooding maps, and they are not flood forecast maps, but they do show you if you are in or near one of the most floodprone areas.

Learn more about Using LSU AgCenter Interactive Maps Tools to Assess Flood Risk during an event.


Use these links to access LSU AgCenter Recovery Resources

Recovery and Rebuilding Information Online Your flood Zone and Ground Elevation

LSU AgCenter Disaster Recovery Publications LaHouse Showcase Home at LSU


State and Federal Resources


Prepare and Prevent Damage in future events

Preventing Flood Damage (includes emergency and permanent methods, with videos)You can protect your building from shallow flooding. Emergency measures

Preparedness for Livestock Fact sheets for beef, dairy, goat, sheep and horse producers, and on horse boarding facilities.
Animal Response Hotline – Small Animals and Horses only. Help or Volunteer LVMA/LaSART

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