No significant changes in new flood maps

Published 7:00 am Saturday, August 31, 2019

Federal insurance rate maps have not changed significantly within the city of Picayune, said city floodplain administrator Ted Barze. The new maps will go into effect on Sept. 27.

The maps are created by FEMA and intended to help people know where and how to build and ensure people know the base flood elevation to build, Barze said. The maps are designed to be preventative instead of predictive to reduce damage to individual’s property and the cost of flood repairs for the federal government, Barze said.

The current maps went into effect in June 2008, Barze said.

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The majority of changes to the two Picayune maps were in uninhabited areas, so do not have a significant impact on the city’s residents, Barze said, although they may impact those interested in developing in those areas.

No streets were added to or removed from the floodplain maps, Barze said.

However, the distance to sea level in the city has changed, Barze said. Some areas in the new map are only one inch closer to sea level, while other areas are two or three feet closer. One location is nine feet closer to sea level than the previous map, but it is an uninhabited swampy area.

There are no significant changes to flood hazard data for Pearl River County, Barze said.

FEMA did develop base flood elevations in some areas that were previously undetermined, said Pearl River County floodplain manager Teasha Lee via email.

To find out if a property is in a special flood hazard area, residents can go to the FEMA map service center at or visit a county E-911 or building permit office in Picayune or Poplarville, Lee said.

The county, the city of Poplarville and the city of Picayune all adopted the new flood hazard maps in August, according to previous coverage.

The city of Poplarville does not currently have a floodplain manager, so asked the Board of Supervisors for the county’s assistance in floodplain management, according to previous coverage. The Board has not yet made a decision on the request, according to previous coverage.