Experts Warn Against Baton Rouge Area Lowering Building Standards After August Flood

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Building code changes will allow more residents to avoid elevating their homes in high-risk areas

October 28, 2016

Flooding near Baton Rouge, La. Photo: U.S. Department of Agriculture/Wikimedia Commons

After Baton Rouge suffered historic flooding in August, officials recently moved to relax some flood-related building requirements to make it easier for residents to rebuild. The building code changes will allow more residents to avoid elevating their homes in high-risk areas. Critics charge that this move will backfire in the long run, even as it saves money in the short run. Baton Rouge reportedly had enforced higher standards for years to secure more favorable flood insurance rates. Those rates could now go up with more lenient standards in place, and rebuilt homes would be at higher risk for future flood damage, critics say.

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