After the rainstorm that submerged Louisiana in deep floods last August, city mayor Jr. Shelton told reporters he believes flood insurance should be mandatory for all residents in the area.
He explained that prior to the devastating flood; very few homeowners and establishments had insurance because of its prohibitive cost.
“The whole premise of insurance is to spread the risk, so if everybody has to buy it, you've got more people buying it and the rates come down," Shelton said.
However, questions behove Shelton’s stand, such as, would it be fair to residents in areas outside the flood plains? How much protection should be provided to residents who need to rebuild their homes?
Additionally, Shelton said the City Council is relaxing rules on rebuilding to stimulate the communities most damaged by the flood. Among others, it is planning to cancel a federal rule that requires homeowners to build above the minimum height deemed safe by the federal government.
"If we have to start elevating our houses and demolishing them, Central's going to turn into a ghost town. That's why we're repealing every additional regulation to keep us compliant with the National Flood Insurance Program. We are stripping everything down that we can as City Council," he explained.
The recent flood plowed through historical records, which was six feet above the 100 year base flood elevation, city councilman Jason Ellis noted.
"We just had a 1,000-year flood that literally was 6 feet above the 100-year base flood elevation," Ellis emphasized. "It would be ridiculous if every single one of us had to go raise our houses above a 1,000-year flood event."
However, he said only the federal government can completely overturn these rules.