Biloxi Woman Wants FEMA Flood Maps Adopted Already

A Biloxi woman found her property on new flood risk maps unveiled in Harrison County Wednesday, and said what a lot of people have been thinking. Lois Richardson urged elected leaders to adopt the elevation changes as soon as possible, so she could start rebuilding.

Richardson was at the Coast Coliseum to look over the maps and see FEMA's proposed elevation changes in Harrison County.

Many of the people who checked out the maps were a bit anxious about how they could impact their lives.  Yet, somewhere on a series of maps was information that put a smile on Mary Larson's face.

"I found out I was not in the flood zone before. And I'm not in a flood zone again now," she chuckled.

The Biloxi woman was one of the lucky ones.

"Because of where I'm located, I don't have to make any corrections to my property," she said.

People from all over Harrison County came to the coliseum Wednesday. They studied preliminary flood risk maps, and hoped for the best. Most of the property owners weren't surprised by the flood elevation decisions.

"Not really," Greg Kergosien said. "I'm 25 feet above sea level where I am, floating or not. I'm in good shape actually. I'm south of the tracks, but having an 'x' zone. I'm good."

The Wednesday meeting was set up so city, state and federal officials could try and answer flood map questions. In January, the public will be able to share their opinions about the flood risk maps with the federal and state agencies that devised them. That appeal process lasts 90 days. The final maps should be adopted six months after that.

Lois Richardson would like them adopted now. She's ready to rebuild.

"I knew that especially on my property on Elder Street, we were going to have to go way, way up if we rebuild. I have three homes there and they were all demolished," she said.

On Thursday, Jackson County residents can view their preliminary flood risk maps. They'll be on display at the Jackson County Civic Center starting at noon.