Flood Insurance

 

PURCHASE FLOOD INSURANCE.  Homeowners and business multi-peril insurance policies do not cover losses from flood. Flood insurance policies must be purchased as a separate policy. 

Properties in Flood Zone AE are required to carry flood insurance if they have a federally backed mortgage.

For properties in Flood Zone X, it is highly recommended to carry flood insurance as floods do not respect Zone X boundaries. Facts show those insured in Zone X areas file more than 20% of all National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) claims and receive 1/3 of Federal disaster assistance for flooding.

Renters are encouraged to purchase flood policies to protect their personal property with contents coverage.

You must have an active flood insurance policy at the time of the flooding event to be eligible for any disaster relief or FEMA grant programs. There is a 30-day waiting period before a flood insurance policy becomes effective so call your agent to start a policy today!

Once you have purchased flood insurance, keep your policy and an itemized list of your furnishings, clothing, and valuables in a safe place, like a safe deposit box. It is helpful to have photos of and receipts for your items as well.  Call your agent or broker immediately if you suffer flood damage.

If you need flood insurance advice, an analysis of your Elevation Certificate or declarations page, call 504-468-4062 or email floodinfo@kenner.la.us. You can learn more about the National Flood Insurance Program through FloodSmart.gov.

 

Property Protection

 

Many things can be done to an existing building to minimize or eliminate the potential for flood damage.

Sand, plywood, plastic sheeting, and lumber can be used to protect a structure temporarily. These supplies are readily available from a number of retail outlets throughout the parish.

Personal items can also be elevated or moved to upper floors.

Permanent flood proofing measures for flood-prone structures are preferable. These include elevating the structure, building floodwalls and protecting utilities.

Visit www.lsuagcenter.com and search “Flood Proofing Methods” for information on flood proofing.  Call your Floodplain Manager at 468-4062 or send an email (floodinfo@kenner.la.us) to request a site visit to discuss local flood issues and give one-on-one retrofitting advice specific to your property.  

Before proceeding with retrofitting measures or any construction as well as development, (i.e. filling, dredging, and remodeling) check with the Department of Inspections and Code Enforcement at 504-468-4062 for applicable building codes, permit requirements, zoning restrictions, or to report illegal development.

 

Hazard Mitigation Plan

 

Kenner’s Emergency Management Director, Doug Dodt, and Kevin Guffey, a long-time Kenner resident, insurance agent and local business owner, have been appointed to represent the City of Kenner as part of a newly formed Hazard Mitigation Plan Advisory Committee.

The purpose of the Committee is to update the multi-jurisdictional hazard mitigation plan, a process required by FEMA every five years. The current plan dates back to 2015.

The plan provides a framework for community officials to use for reducing vulnerability to natural hazards. Representatives from each local government entity, as well as stakeholders from throughout the community, will be reviewing the existing plan over the coming months to ensure it continues to reflect community goals for mitigation.

Consideration is usually given to three major components:

• Risk Assessment - Identifying what are the natural hazard risks / problems facing our community.

• Capability Assessment - Identifying what could we do about these risks/problems and what resources are needed / available to address the issues.

• Mitigation Actions - Determining what the community will do about the problem/risk.

By selecting these topics, you can learn more information on the Hazard Mitigation Plan, to see the members of the committee with schedule of public meetings, or read more about Kenner's involvement.

Jefferson Parish also provides a great one-stop location for additional information.

 

Flood Hazard 

 

Flooding can occur during any season of the year.  The most common source of flood water in the City of Kenner is rain, although hurricanes and tidal surges also pose a serious threat in late summer.  Flooding can happen both inside and outside of the levee system so be prepared. 

The natural drainage process for the entire eastern portion of the United States comes through the Mississippi River, the southern boundary of the city of Kenner.  River gauge levels help show when the river is running very high - you can check the river level by visiting the Army Corps of Engineer's site www.rivergages.com in order to see if there are messages about the river's flood potential.  Another interesting site to see potential flood information is https://cera.coastalrisk.live/ that provides forecasted storm surge information (and has a historical component, too).

 

 

Flood water collects because most of Jefferson Parish and the City of Kenner lies at or below sea level with land prone to subsidence. The low, flat ground provides little natural gravity drainage so water that falls in the city must be pumped out via the pumping system.

To learn the flood zone of your property, call your Floodplain Manager at 504-468-4062 or email floodinfo@kenner.la.us to request a flood zone determination letter.  Maps showing flood hazard areas are on file at your local library or the City of Kenner Inspections and Code Enforcement office.

You can review the appropriate Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM) online at Map 1, Map 2, Map 3 or Map 4 and obtain appropriate flood zone and map excerpt for your property.  Maps can also be viewed online at the Kenner geospacial portal - click here for instructions on how to use the FIRM map interactive portal).  Make a plan so you can be prepared to respond quickly and effectively from potential flooding.

For more information on actions you can take to reduce the risk of flooding, call mitigation measures, look at these suggestions.

 

Flood Warning System

 

Jefferson Parish operates a flood warning system called JPAlert to alert citizens about the possibility of impending flooding caused by hurricanes, tropical storms, and storm water from prolonged thunderstorms, tornadoes, winter storms, high winds, or a combination thereof.

JPAlert also allows officials to immediately contact you during a major crisis or emergency and can deliver important emergency alerts, notifications and updates to all of your devices.

A warning period will be available for most emergency situations, but the amount of lead time may vary from hazard to hazard. Proper action during this warning period will save lives, reduce injuries, and protect property. 

JPAlert will give you instructions on where to go, what to do or not do, and who to contact during an emergency.  To sign up for this free service, go to www.jeffparish.net , scroll down the homepage and click on JPAlert.

In the event of a power outage, use a battery powered radio to listen for initial warning information preceded by three (3) short dual tones and subsequent updates on 870 AM or 101.9 FM.

 

Flood Safety             

  

The parish flood warning system can provide an early notification of flooding conditions.  If emergency officials tell you to evacuate or leave your home, go immediately to a safe shelter. To know your evacuation route, go to www.jeffparish.net and select "Department of Emergency Management," then click on "Contraflow Map and Driving Instructions".

If you are caught in a building by suddenly rising water, move to a higher floor or the roof (you may need a tool on hand to break through the roof if you are in the attic). Take drinking water, a flashlight, and a portable radio. Wait for help.

Do not drive in flooded waters; City of Kenner Code of Ordinance Section 7-66 notes it shall be unlawful for any person to operate any motor vehicle or boat on the public roads, highways or bridges which are flooded or inundated within the city in such a manner as to cause water, waves or wakes to enter property alongside of or adjacent to such public roads, highways or bridges, or to rise higher in such property.  If your car stalls in a flooded area abandon it.  Do not attempt to walk through flood water that is more than knee deep.  Drainage ditches and canals carry fast moving flood water and are extremely dangerous.

For a list of flood-related websites, visit Kenner's Flood Awareness Contacts.  There, you will see several subpages that provide information such as FIRM maps, helpful phone numbers/web links, the adopted hazard mitigation plan and more.

You may also visit www.jplibrary.net go to Reference > click on Reference Resources > and select Flood Information.  In addition, there is additional information at https://floodhelp.uno.edu.

 

Drainage System Maintenance

 

Jefferson Parish is surrounded by rivers, lakes, bayous, and canals. We must use drainage canals and pumping stations to move storm water into the surrounding waterways outside the levee system.

The Jefferson Parish Drainage Department and the City of Kenner Public Works Department have a drainage system maintenance program. You can help by keeping the catch basins in front of you property clean and free of debris.

As stated in Parish Ordinance 16.9 and 16-9.2, it is illegal to dump debris such as trash, oil, grease, or other pollutants in catch basins, drainage ditches, or canals. Do not dump anything into any portion of the Parish’s drainage system as debris can cause the drainage system to malfunction and increase flooding.

Not only is it important to keep our canals free flowing, we must also consider the health of our seafood, frogs, and other wildlife that live in our waterways and provide us with food and recreation.

The City of Kenner has ordinances that prohibit dumping of any material in the drainage system. See City of Kenner Code of Ordinances Section 9 ½ - 6.  

In fact, Brooms to Basins is a voluntary program that allows Kenner residents to ‘adopt’ a basin around their home or business.  Clearing catch basins helps keep them free of litter, grass clippings, leaves, and other debris that can obstruct drainage. Clean catch basins are important as they allow water to flow freely, reducing flooding in your yard and street.  Furthermore, cleaning catch basins also reduces pollution in our waterways, protecting our wildlife and fisheries. 

Call the Jefferson Parish Department of Drainage (736-6753) or the City of Kenner Public Works Department (468-7515) if you have any questions or need to report illegal dumping.