What Flooding Means for Louisiana Homeowners
Due to overflow at a levee located in Ascension Parish, upwards of 40,000 homes located in the southeast region of Louisiana and a portion of Mississippi’s south have experienced devastating flooding and water damage. With extensive flooding in 30 parishes deemed to be declared in a disaster state, this has serious implications for homeowners located in the affected region.
The overflow of the Amite River showed significant consequences for individuals living in Ascension Parish, where an estimated 66% of homeowners took the brunt of the flooding. According to an official in Livingston Parish, close to 75% of homes in the area experienced extreme levels of flooding and face a bleak prognosis. 80% of all homes in the Baton Rouge area are at a critical level of crisis.
Federal Declaration of Emergency
In some areas, flooding has reached record levels. Magnolia, for example, has exceeded its previous record by over six feet. Due to the extent of the damage, the government has declared at least 30 parishes to be in a state of emergency. According to Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards, upwards of 30,000 individuals were rescued by a variety of response teams, with a third of those individuals being relocated to emergency shelters.
The first priority of these rescue teams is to locate individuals in crisis and place them in a safe environment. When possible, these teams have also made efforts to rescue household pets. These floods have been fatal, and numerous drownings have occurred as a direct result of unmanageably high water levels permeating the state. While many individuals have been rescued, officials are currently unable to estimate how many may be missing.
As it should be, the first priority of officials is to ascertain the personal safety of as many citizens as humanly possible. Once all of the proper safety measures have been taken, the state will proceed with ameliorating compounding damage from the flood waters.
Draining the State of Louisiana
After floodwater management infrastructure had failed in the devastation of 2005’s Hurricane Katrina, civil engineers updated and replaced levees that were not built to a standard that offered the necessary durability and longevity Louisiana needed for protection.
As external water levels decline, civil engineers will be able to activate a large number of drainage pumps in heavily flooded areas. After a great number of crucial pumps failed during Katrina, they were replaced with newer pumps designed to withstand being submerged in floodwaters for longer periods of time. These pumps were put to the test in 2008 during Hurricane Gustav and found to be effective.
Because of the extent of the flooding, it’s likely that more emergency pumps will be brought it to siphon water from heavily submerged areas in the 30 parishes that received the brunt of the flood. As soon as it’s safe to do so, pumps will be activated so that they may slowly but surely begin to reduce the dangerously high levels of water. As this is happening, some of the water will naturally evaporate at a steady pace.
Advice Homeowners in Affected Parishes
It is a deeply unfortunate reality that some homeowners, especially those whose properties have experienced floor-to-ceiling flooding, may not be able to reclaim their homes after the drainage has been completed. Many of these homeowners will be able to apply for assistance through FEMA, who will be able to help them re-establish themselves in safe homes.
Some homes that have experienced lower levels of flooding may be salvageable, as long as the homeowners act as soon as they possibly can. Typically, once the water has been reduced to ground level, active measures can be taken to save and restore a flood-damaged home. Homes allowed to sit unrepaired after drainage will continue to compound the damage. The very moment the waters have reached manageable levels, home restoration needs to begin.
Proper structural drying and mold detection are mandatory to restore a home to a safe state. Don’t assume that all the water is gone just because you cannot visibly see sitting water throughout your home. Walls and subflooring will naturally absorb this water, trapping it within the interior of your home and causing serious complications that will potentially lead to the total collapse of your home over time.
Working With Your Insurance Company and FEMA
Louisiana is prone to devastating flooding, yet only 1 in 8 Louisiana homeowners has a current flood insurance policy. If you are one of the 7 homeowners currently victimized by the floods, consider purchasing a policy that will protect you should you experience a flood in the future. If you are a policyholder, your insurance company is already waiting to hear from you. Since this is a national emergency, companies that offer flood insurance are already gearing up to tackle the issue.
The majority of homeowners need to work with FEMA to restore their homes. Since President Obama has declared a federal state of emergency, this means that funds will be allocated to homeowners in need. FEMA may not be able to cover your total costs for restoration, but many homes and small business owners are eligible for partial assistance or partial reimbursement.
Restoring Your Property to its Former State
Call for help as soon as you possibly can. In order to tabulate your total costs, keep them as low as possible, and get your normal life back, you need the immediate assistance of a water damage restoration expert. The longer your home sits without meaningful action being taken, it becomes increasingly less likely that a restoration specialist will be able to manage the damage your home has taken.
This is a truly devastating time for citizens of Louisiana. Restoration Local knows the emotional toll that loss and catastrophe can take on affected homeowners. Call us as soon as you can, and we’ll be able to send a water damage restoration expert out to your home. This expert will be able to provide you with a free estimate. Together, you’ll be able to file an insurance or emergency assistance claim to fix your home. The longer you allow damage to compound, greater the cost of damage restoration will be. By calling immediately, you’re more likely to stop the damage before it’s too late.
If you have water damage, call Restoration Local 24/7 at 1-888-443-3110 for a free estimate!