PASS CHRISTIAN, MS (WLOX) - In an effort to keep flood insurance rates low in the City of Pass Christian city officials are holding a public hearing to discuss ways to keep their current flood rating. We talked to city officials who say they already have some ideas in mind.
Due to restructuring in the National Flood Insurance Program Pass Christian officials like leaders in other cities are looking at ways to keep flood insurance rates from rising.
In order to maintain the city's flood rating of six leaders will have to consider a list of recommendations by FEMA to mitigate damages in the case of flooding. Aldermen would then have to decide to amend the city's current flood ordinance to include some or all of those recommendations.
"The public hearing is we have got a list of items that come from the government and you get points for doing certain things these go from big points for big changes to smaller points for other things," Ward 1 Alderman Buddy Clarke said.
Those points help to keep the city's flood rating from moving. Residents like Rosemary Daley and her husband say they've done everything they can to build their Pass Christian home up to code and they don't expect their flood insurance rates will go up.
"The city code requires that you're above the code and we went an extra foot higher than the code was required to go. Um, I don't know. I think that we're going to be ok," said Pass Christian resident Rosemary Daley.
Some of the recommendations from FEMA include prohibiting critical facilities like nursing homes and hospitals from being built in the flood plain and raising the minimum elevation for new structures in the city. Officials say residents can help by becoming more familiar with GIS maps.
"One of the best things I think that everyone can agree on is making education about it making it easier for the public to understand what this situation will be by being here and going over these gis maps," said Clarke.
The city has to get its flood rating recertified every few years and to get the best rating they have to go above the requirements of the National Flood Insurance program. The public hearing on these changes will be held at the Pass Christian City hall on Tuesday, December 17 at 6 p.m.