Biggert-Waters: Do You Live Near a Flood Zone? Elevation Tool

When Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans in 2005, the city withstood the winds of one of the most ferocious storms in modern history, but the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers was unable to protect the citizens of the Big Easy from the rising tide of storm surge that flooded many of the city’s neighborhoods, especially the 9th ward, eastern New Orleans and the Lakefront area near Lake Pontchartrain.

On March 21, more than 5 million flood insurance policyholders cheered when President Barack Obama signed into law the Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act, which delayed dramatic increases in federal flood insurance  premiums for four years imposed by the Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012, which was sponsored by Rep. Judy Biggert, an Illinois Republican and Rep. Maxine Waters, a California Democrat.

Recent homebuyers hit by the higher rates will get refunds, and those affected by revised flood zone maps will not face bigger premiums. Annual premium increases will be capped at 18 percent per property annually. The impact is especially significant in coastal states like Florida and Louisiana.

Now that Biggert-Waters was temporarily delayed, you might want to consider the elevation of where you live. Here’s an interesting elevation tool that allows you to gage the elevation of where you live. Simply type in your address, city andzip code andit givesyou the elevation where you live.

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