Bay St. Louis floodplain ordinance updates
Bay St. Louis was almost wiped off the map by Hurricane Katrina and many residents are still trying to rebuild the city that they call home.
Earlier this week, Mayor Les Fillingame received a letter from MEMA which stated that the city’s floodplain ordinance was not in compliance with MEMA’s regulations. Officials from MEMA tell News 25 that the ordinance allows citizens to use filler dirt to build a foundation up to two feet without asking permission which in turn may contribute to flooding in other areas.
Today, the city council passed a vote amending the problematic portion of the ordinance. Bay St. Louis Floodplain Manager Jerry Beaufez said, “The two feet of fill provision that was added two years ago, that’s been removed and we have to look at it on a case by case basis. We aren’t saying you can’t add two feet of fill, but we’re not saying that you can either. We have to look at it on a case by case basis with all the documentation provided.”
MEMA Director Lee Smithson said, “Their ordinance now is in compliance with the National Flood Insurance Program so the Federal Emergency Management Agency will have no issues accepting the ordinance with the amendment that is now in place.”
That amendment will become official after it runs in next week’s issue of the Sea Coast Echo.