The city just announced that FEMA has released its finalized flood insurance rate maps for New Orleans, which remove many properties from Special Flood Hazard Areas (aka "A-zones").
The areas moving out of flood zones are now in X-zones, parts of town where flood insurance will now be an option for most mortgages.
The Lens published the updated maps this week, and the city sent out a press release this afternoon announcing the changes.
The flood zones have been changed due to "reconstruction of the hurricane risk reduction system and significant drainage improvements following Hurricane Katrina."
Property owners can search their addresses here to see if their rates have been changed. The map uses three colors: green, areas that have moved out of flood zones; grey, areas that have not changed from the previous map; and red, indicating areas moving into higher risk zones.
The city is adopting the new maps this summer, and City Council should vote in June or July on ordinances governing new construction as it relates to the updated flood maps.
If your property has moved to a lower risk zone, contact your insurance company about getting your policy re-written at a lower rate.
• Here’s a FEMA map that actually delivers good news for New Orleans [The Lens]