If state and federal officials decide to open the Morganza Spillway this week and intentionally flood thousands of homes in more rural parts of Louisiana, homeowners without FEMA-issued flood insurance will be, well, s.o.l.
The Times-Picayune reports Sunday on its website that the likely opening of Morganza could bring widespread flooding to St. Landry, St. Martin, Iberia, Iberville, St. Mary, Terrebonne and Pointe Coupee parishes, with some residents along the Atchafalaya Basin already urged to self-evacuate.
But just because it will ultimately be a government decision to flood one area in order to save Baton Rouge and New Orleans from extensive damages does not mean flooded homes without FEMA flood insurance will be covered.
A Lafayette State Farm representative says whether the flooding was man-made or natural is not a deciding factor when it comes to paying for damages, and having homeowners insurance is not enough to protect a flooded home.
Unlike homeowners insurance, the State Farm rep. says flood insurance, issued by FEMA, is open to anyone, though it may be more expensive to have in flood-prone areas.
Without a policy in effect, homes damaged because of the potential floods will not be covered by the government.
A decision on whether to open the Morganza Spillway could be made by Thursday. Residents in the above-mentioned parishes should contact their local officials for information on evacuations and other preparations.
Read more on the Mississippi River water levels and possible widespread flooding here