As any Louisiana native can tell you, flooding can happen at any time. Furthermore, it should come as no surprise to local residents that up to 41 million Americans live in flood zones. Although there are many different types of flood zones, they can be organized into four main categories. The special flood hazard areas (SFHA) pose the greatest risk and are thought of as the most hazardous. These zones have up to a 26% chance of flooding during the property’s mortgage, and they will have a flood insurance mandate. Moderate flood hazard areas are slightly less risky as they are often protected by levee systems. The minimal flood hazard areas are the more desirable zones to build in, but flooding is still possible. Flood insurance may not be mandatory here, but it can never hurt to have that protection waiting. The final category is the undetermined risk areas. These are areas where there is not enough data to identify them in one of the other three categories. Oftentimes, flood insurance will be recommended but not mandatory.
It is crucial that businesses follow local codes and ordinances related to floods to protect the people and property that reside there, make sure federal flood insurance remains available, and save the city tax dollars. Specifically speaking about St. Martin Parish, 81% of the parish is considered an SFHA, and over 70 housing units are repetitively damaged due to flooding. It is not realistic to try to build solely in the 19% of the parish that is not designated as a high-risk flood zone. Thankfully, parish officials have ordained a flood prevention policy to mitigate the risks that come with building in a flood zone. Firstly, each project will need to submit an application for a floodplain development permit. As a part of this application, “plans in duplicate drawn to scale showing the location, dimensions, and elevation of proposed landscape alterations, [and] existing and proposed structures” will need to be shown. Additionally, “a registered professional engineer or architect shall develop and/or review structural design, specifications, and plans for the construction, and shall certify that the design and methods of construction are in accordance with accepted standards of practice.”
Bulliard Construction has fostered important and healthy relationships with local governing bodies as well as accredited engineers and architects. By nurturing these relationships, we have extensive knowledge on attaining these permits and ensuring the construction process runs smoothly no matter what zone we are building in. For more information on how to get your construction project going in a flood zone, contact Bulliard Construction.