[StBernard] flood zone AR

Westley Annis westley at da-parish.com
Thu Apr 26 21:33:53 EDT 2007

I had never heard of a FEMA flood zone called AR because it certainly would
have included everyone in south LA who lives within a levee protection
system and shown up on our flood insurance statements. It seems to be
written post-Katrina as it says it "depicts areas protected...by..levees,
that are being restored."

I found this designation on the FEMA website. Here is their definition as it
appears on FEMA webpage. Guess we can all look forward to new flood maps
with most of the metro area in AR floodzone. Notice the 3 ft. above adjacent
grade rule and the last sentence about the AR designation being removed once
the flood protection is fully restored and FEMA accepts it, then you revert
back to the zone based on probability of flooding from a rainfall event.
Suppose we can all anticipate "special" rates for those in AR. Guess AR
means AT RISK. You can count on being AR forever, as I doubt FEMA will ever
trust that the levees, floodwalls, floodgates, etc. are satisfactory and
therefore never stop asking for additional "necessary data". it could be
worse; they could exclude us from the insurance program until they deem the
levee protection systems are acceptable, in which case we'd have no flood
insurance for a very, very long time, if at all. -ddk

"Zone AR
Zone AR is the flood insurance rate zone used to depict areas protected from
flood hazards by flood control structures, such as a levee, that are being
restored. FEMA will consider using the Zone AR designation for a community
if the flood protection system has been deemed restorable by a Federal
agency in consultation with a local project sponsor; a minimum level of
flood protection is still provided to the community by the system; and
restoration of the flood protection system is scheduled to begin within a
designated time period and in accordance with a progress plan negotiated
between the community and FEMA. Mandatory purchase requirements for flood
insurance will apply in Zone AR, but the rate will not exceed the rate for
an unnumbered Zone A if the structure is built in compliance with Zone AR
floodplain management regulations.

For floodplain management in Zone AR areas, the property owner is not
required to elevate an existing structure when making improvements to the
structure. However, for new construction, the structure must be elevated (or
floodproofed for non-residential structures) so that the lowest floor,
including basement, is a minimum of 3 feet above the highest adjacent
existing grade, if the depth of the Base Flood Elevation (BFE) does not
exceed 5 feet at the proposed development site. For infill sites,
rehabilitation of existing structures, or redevelopment of previously
developed areas, there is a 3-foot elevation requirement regardless of the
depth of the BFE at the project site.

The Zone AR designation will be removed and the restored flood control
system will be shown as providing protection from the 1-percent annual
chance flood on the National Flood Insurance Program map upon completion of
the restoration project and submittal of all the necessary data to FEMA."

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