Gulfport Adopts New Flood Elevation Levels - - The News for South Mississippi

Gulfport Adopts New Flood Elevation Levels

Gulfport residents now know how high they will have to rebuild to meet new flood elevation levels.

The city council on Tuesday adopted FEMA's advisory base flood elevation plan, plus six inches. That means properties near Highway 90 must be a minimum of 18 feet, six inches above sea level, those near inland waterways must be 16 and a half feet above sea level.

Councilwoman Ella Holmes Hines called the plan "quite aggresive" and questioned the wisdom of FEMA's proposed flood levels.

"What kind of sense does that make on a one time flood event?" she asked.

The council postponed earlier votes on height elevations. This time, the mayor said it was time to get on with business.

Before the vote came, there was a lot of discussion about when those new, higher flood levels would take effect. One proposal was for 30 days from Tuesday. One Gulfport resident urged city leaders for more time.

"All of us work. We just need more time than 30 days," Janice Marsh said.

For those planning to rebuild, the date those new regulations take effect is vitally important.

"Anybody who wants to build back to a lower level, the current level, then they can do so right now," Chief Administrative Officer David Nichols said.

The council decided November first would be the day the new regulations begin. So, if you don't want to adhere to FEMA's height restrictions, you must start to build before then.

With Tuesday's vote, Gulfport became one of the last coast cities to adopt new flood elevation levels.

by Jeff Lawson

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