After exhausting all other options, St. Charles Parish files a lawsuit against FEMA seeking transparency of the Risk Rating 2.0 calculations. Parish President Matthew Jewell said on average property owners in the area have seen their flood insurance increase more than 200 percent.
“The information that was just shared recently just proves what we already knew that rates are becoming unaffordable very quickly. In some areas of the parish, they’re going to be going up about 752%,” said Jewell.
Jewell said the new pricing methodology has not been shared with local leaders and even members of the state’s congressional delegation have been denied access.
“They haven’t shown anybody outside of FEMA and this private company who they brought in to help make this model,” said Jewell.
With millions invested in the construction of new levees and pumps, Jewell said the parish is protected more than ever but yet property owners are going to be priced out of living in St. Charles Parish. Jewell believes instead of using a model to create rates, the rates were calculated in reverse.
“They put that premium really high to get these financial benefits that they need out of this, and then they made a model to justify that,” said Jewell.
The federal lawsuit is filed on the basis of being denied a public document under the Freedom of Information Act.