Flood Safety and Information
Slidell is subject to flooding due to hurricane storm surge, back flooding of Bayou Bonfouca from an inundated Lake Pontchartrain, and localized drainage challenges during heavy storm events. Flooding can occur during any season of the year. Because much of the City’s land is low-lying and flat, all properties are potentially at risk; drainage systems can become overwhelmed causing streets and yards to flood with little or no warning.
Contact the Floodplain Administrator, Joe France, CFM, in Building Safety to find out your property’s flood zone or whether it is prone to flooding, the flood depth anticipated, any historical flooding, or if it is in a wetland. The City’s Certified Floodplain Manager (CFM) can give advice on floodproofing and retrofitting, and answer questions, including site visits. Flood maps and publications are available in the Engineering Department.
Office Location: 250 Bouscaren St., Suite 202
Sign up for Emergency Notifications: go to stpgov.org/departments/hsep and click on “Sign Up for A!ert St. Tammany.”
Protect People! Flood Safety Tips
The force of water is easily underestimated. Decrease the potential of injury due to flooding:
- Stay alert to bulletins that warn of flooding.
- Do not walk through floodwaters. Six inches of moving water can knock you off your feet. Drowning is the No. 1 cause of flood deaths.
- Do not drive through floodwaters. More people drown in cars than anywhere else.
- “Turn Around, Don’t Drown.”
- Do not drive around barriers; the road or bridge may be washed out.
- Stay away from power and electrical lines. Electrical currents can travel through water.
- Turn off electric circuits. Have the power company turn off your electricity.
- Shut off gas valves. Be alert for gas leaks. Don’t smoke or use open flames unless you know that all gas has been ventilated.
- Close shutters or cover windows.
- If you are on the waterfront or in an area prone to flooding, plan to leave.
- Know your evacuation route and have a flood plan ready.
- Clean gutters and drains so stormwater can drain to canals.
Slidell has a Flood Hazard Prevention ordinance that meets NFIP standards. A permit is required for any development, including new construction, substantial improvements, demolitions, and excavations.
Check with Building Safety before you build, grade, or put fill on your property. Individuals who illegally fill, dump or excavate land or drainage ways are subject to penalties and may have to remove the material and return the land to its pre-incident state at their own cost.
Protect Your Property with Flood Insurance
Standard property insurance policies will not cover damage caused by flooding. A separate flood policy from the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) is required to cover damage caused by surface water flooding.
Flood insurance is available to property owners or renters. Costs vary depending on how much insurance is purchased, what it covers, and the property’s flood risk. To purchase a flood policy, contact a local insurance provider who is authorized to sell NFIP flood policies. Policies provide coverage for buildings and contents; however, you should discuss insuring personal property with your insurance agent.
There is typically a 30-day waiting period for new flood insurance policies to take effect, and no new policy can be initiated once a named storm has entered or formed within the Gulf of Mexico. If you purchase a new home, the 30-day waiting period does not apply; your flood insurance is effective as soon as your application is approved by the Flood Insurance Administrator after you have “closed” on the sale. For more information, contact an insurance agent or the NFIP at 888-379-9531 or www.floodsmart.gov.
Protect Your Property with Grant Assistance
The Federal Government, through the City, regularly offers grants for Repetitive Loss and Severe Repetitive Loss properties to be mitigated, which can include elevation, acquisition, and demolition of the building by the government, and acquisition and relocation of the building by the government.
Repetitive Loss is two or more claims of more than $1,000 each that have been paid by the NFIP during a rolling ten-year period. Severe Repetitive Loss is either: a) four NFIP claim payments where each claim exceeds $5,000 or the cumulative amount of all four exceeds $20,000; or b) at least two separate claim payments whose cumulative amount of the building portion exceeds the market value of the building.
Contact Slidell’s Finance Department to find out more about grant opportunities.
Floodplains are a valuable resource. Properly maintained, they can provide storage for storm waters, minimize the risk of flooding, provide habitat for wildlife, and improve water quality. Dumping chemicals, such as oil, paint, and pesticides, could pollute stormwater and destroy plants, endanger wildlife, and contaminate drinking water. So, never dump chemicals into storm drains or drainage canals.
Slidell maintains storm drainage systems so that they operate efficiently. It is illegal to impede the flow of water into ditches and canals. Debris, leaves, and even grass clippings may obstruct the flow of water and cause overflow onto streets and into yards. Before making any changes to drainage, consult with the Engineering Department. Report any action that affects the drainage system to Public Operations at 985-646-4258, and any illegal dumping of debris into ditches or any situation that impairs drainage to Code Enforcement at 985-646-6134.
City of Slidell Flood Insurance Study (FIS)
Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRMS)
The link above will take you to the Louisiana State University Agricultural Center Flood Map web page which hosts the State’s flood maps. At the site select St Tammany Parish. You can then either enter an address or zoom into the area you are interested in. The website maps are pre-set for the preliminary digital maps, which have not been adopted by the City of Slidell. To view the “Effective” map, go to the layers drop-down menu in the upper right corner and uncheck preliminary and check, effective.
Paper copies of the effective maps can be viewed at either the City’s Planning Department or Engineering Department located at 250 Bouscaren Street, Slidell, LA 70458.
LaDOTD Floodplain Management Contacts
Louisiana Floodplain Management Association (LFMA)
St Tammany Levee, Drainage, and Conservation District
Louisiana Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority (CPRA) Master Plan Data Viewer