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The arrogant city council of Biloxi rejected FEMA's flood insurance requirements and made their own laws about how high homes should be raised. FEMA says that this is not negotiable. Now, Biloxi, MS stands to be the only city in the "Katrina Zone," that will not be eligible for the Federal Flood Insurance Program. All of Biloxi will be dropped because of this ordinance the City Council passed, and with that we can write off Biloxi. No one will want to live there without insurance. Unbelievable that the city council did this to this city. I will point out that this is only Biloxi, so don't write off cities like Ocean Springs, Gulfport, Long Beach, or Bay St. Louis, to name a few. But, Biloxi is over unless the city council retracts this law.

Elevations raised 4 feet
FEMA's higher rule called unreasonable
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Biloxi-David Luke is rebuilding his home at 121 Kuhn St. in East Biloxi to a height of 21 feet above sea level. The Biloxi City Council decided Tuesday that property owners in flood zones must build at least 17 feet above sea level, or 4 feet higher than previously required.BILOXI - Property owners in flood zones must build at least 17 feet above sea level, or 4 feet higher than previously required, the Biloxi City Council decided Tuesday.

Property owners will be required to build to the new elevations after the new ordinance goes into effect in 30 days.

The requirement raises current elevations by 4 feet within flood zones FEMA set for 1984 flood maps. The council last week rejected updated flood maps from FEMA based on newer technology and data. Those maps expanded flood zones and set elevations at 18 to 25 feet above sea level, depending on location.

The levels the council set Tuesday range from 17 up to 22 feet. The higher number, in FEMA and the council's elevations, reflects waterfront locations subject to tidal surge and falls predominantly in commercial areas where buildings already are being raised to safer elevations.

A majority of council members felt FEMA's elevations were unreasonable and beyond the pocket books of their constituents.

"Height is not the answer," said Ward 1 Councilman George Lawrence, who represents part of East Biloxi, "and I just can't afford to run people off their property. It's not the right thing to do."

Ward 2 Councilman Bill Stallworth agreed. In fact, Stallworth disagrees with FEMA's new data and felt elevations did not need to be raised at all. He was the lone vote against raising elevations by 4 feet.

"With so many homes damaged, with hundreds of people trying to get back in their homes, any additional burden hurts," said Stallworth, who also has constituents in East Biloxi. "Now you're forcing the many to come up with some additional monies to raise their homes a few feet."

Councilmen Tom Wall and Ed Gemmill, who represent Wards 5 and 6 respectively, supported FEMA's recommended elevations, but realized they were in the minority. They voted to support the 4-foot elevation increase as the only compromise that would win approval.

Both Wall and Gemmill noted that residents who had flood insurance when Katrina hit will be eligible for up to $30,000 in additional funds to meet the height requirements the council adopted.

"I'm going to go along with this because I know it would provide some assistance to people who need it," Wall said, "But I really, really wish we had done the right thing last week."

Once FEMA completes a review process that involves public comment, its recommended elevations will go from preliminary to final. When elevations are finalized, FEMA representatives have told the Biloxi council and other local government bodies that they must adopt the elevations or be dropped from the National Flood Insurance Program.

After months of delay and debate on the elevations, the council has finally erased doubt for those who want to rebuild.


How they voted on elevations

The Biloxi City Council voted 6-1 to adopt new building elevations. The no vote was by Bill Stallworth, Ward 2.

6,153 Posts
well the reason houses got flattened last time was storm surge and being weak wood frame homes were easily washed off the foundations because frame homes arent well secured to the foundations. But concrete block homes are alot stronger both with wind and being washed away even if built on ground level a block home would get some inside flood damage but its better than the home being washed away.

2,713 Posts
What do you mean over?
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