March 25, 2016 - Starks, LA - Flooding surrounds homes and vehicles in the Calcasieu Parish community of Starks. The Governor's Office of Homeland Security & Emergency Preparedness and FEMA are coordinating to assist survivors there and throughout Louisiana.
Courtesy FEMA

March 25, 2016 - Starks, LA - Flooding surrounds homes and vehicles in the Calcasieu Parish community of Starks. The Governor's Office of Homeland Security & Emergency Preparedness and FEMA are coordinating to assist survivors there and throughout Louisiana.

Only about one in eight businesses and residences in one part of Baton Rouge is covered by flood insurance, a reality that is sure to take a financial toll on those dealing with flooded neighborhoods and homes, reports The Advocate's Chad Calder.

Residents who should have flood insurance and don't -- often because they own their homes outright and there is no mortgage lender to demand it -- are usually left having to tap their own resources to rebuild, Calder reports.

The number of people in that category affected by the weekend floods appears to be high. In East Baton Rouge and Livingston, only about a third of homes in areas defined as "high risk" for flooding have flood insurance. “It frankly is quite surprising to me, the lack of take-up of the flood program in the impacted areas," state Insurance Commissioner Jim Donelon said. "It shows quite clearly the sad state of affairs for those areas that are impacted.”

Statewide, Donelon said, the proportion of Louisianians with flood insurance is lower than he would have thought, given the state's history. “I thought it was 25 percent, but it’s 21 in the residential market, and it’s heavily concentrated in New Orleans, where 40 percent are insured against flood,” he said.

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