Cameron Police Jury holds off on flood damage prevention amendments

By Theresa Schmidt - bio | email

CAMERON PARISH, LA (KPLC) - The scars of Hurricanes Rita and Ike are far from faded for many residents of Cameron Parish, some of whom have had to leave their beloved home due to stricter, expensive building standards.  Some homeowners said the cost of elevating would be more than the value of their homes and have not been able to rebuild.

Parish officials must enforce compliance with stricter requirements or the parish could be kicked out of the Federal Flood Insurance Program.  In 2008 Assistant District Attorney Jennifer Jones explained, opting out of the National Flood Insurance Program would have dire consequences. "We would be ineligible for federal loans like SBA, VA, Fannie Mae, We'd lose our federal assistance to police, fire, I would assume to the schools also. In the event of another disaster we would be ineligible for almost all forms of disaster relief. "

At their 4 p.m. meeting on Thursday Cameron Police Jurors decided to hold off on certain amendments to the parish's Flood Damage Ordinance to allow jurors time to hold public meeting to explain the changes to Cameron parish residents.  The amendments would give the judge more options related to enforcing requirements.  Right now the only option is to cut off a resident's electricity for refusal to comply.  The amendments would expand options to include a fine and or jail time.  If after such penalties a homeowner still refused to comply, the parish could notify FEMA which could result in the individual homeowner being ineligible to purchase flood insurance.

To read the existing ordinance and proposed changes, which are highlighted in blue, click here.

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