FEMA to set flood elevations; more TV, video coverage

The Federal Emergency Management Agency announced today that that it’s putting out interim flood elevation maps to help hurricane-ravaged Gulf Coast communities make early rebuilding decisions.

The new flood maps propose to increase the flood elevation – the height at which there is a one percent chance of flooding annually – to help reduce the risk of flooding in homes and businesses.

Biloxi Community Development Director Jerry Creel said FEMA representatives have indicated to him that the elevation level in Biloxi would increase by about 3.6 feet above mean seal level, and the change would impact only new construction or major repairs to substantially damaged properties in the city’s existing flood zone.

Currently, regulations require that new structures in Biloxi flood zones – or those flood-zone properties in need of major repairs — be elevated one foot above the base flood elevation, which is from 12 to 17 feet above the mean sea level, depending on the location of the property.

FEMA plans to formally release the new regulations in November, but plans to speak with local leaders in the next week.

You can read more about FEMA’s announcement by clicking here, and you can read an earlier announcement from the city about this issue by clicking here.

Biloxi story continues to unfold before national audience

A cumulative audience of more than 75 million TV and cable viewers has seen more than 50 stories focusing on Katrina’s devastation in Biloxi and the city’s recovery efforts since Aug. 29, a recent report shows, and the coverage is continuing.

“The Saturday Early Show,” which airs from 6 to 8 a.m. on CBS, will feature Mayor A.J. Holloway in the premiere of a new segment called “Saturday Spotlight.” The two-minute spot is is set to air at 7:39 a.m. (locally on WKRG-TV 5 of Mobile).

Later on Saturday, the “NBC Nightly News” plans to include a segment about the historic properties the storm destroyed in Biloxi. That report, filed by NBC reporter Mark Potter, can be viewed locally Saturday at 5:30 p.m. on WDSU-TV 6 in New Orleans or WDAM-TV 7 in Hattiesburg.

New video now online at biloxi.ms.us

You can see video of one of the military’s air-cushioned landing craft making its way onto the Biloxi beach weeks ago by clicking here.

The new video is among a collection of clips on the front page of the city’s web site. To go to the site, click here.