Natchitoches chosen site for state conference

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Juanita Fowler

Natchitoches is the host city for the 35th annual Louisiana Floodplain Management Association (LFMA) business and technical conference, April 25-27 at the Natchitoches Events Center.

Conference chair Juanita Fowler, director of planning & zoning and state certified floodplain manager, said Tuesday that registration has topped 175 participants. The keynote luncheon speaker is Trey Rozelle, FEMA Region VI Floodplain Management & Insurance Specialist. Jeffrey Giering, technical services section chief for the Governor’s Office of Homeland Security & Emergency Preparedness, is among the session presenters. The Cane River Waterway Commission is the Platinum Sponsor.

The LFMA serves as a forum of the National Flood Insurance Program for parish and municipal employees, state and federal officials and the private sector to meet and share experiences, ideas, and solutions to common flooding problems.  The association undertakes many activities including the annual state conference each spring, semi-annual workshops, a periodic newsletter “Floodwatch” which distributes information to LFMA members on flood related activities, programs, publications and legislation, provides a network for members to discuss problems, share solutions or exchange ideas, recognition and attention to members and community leaders for outstanding or exemplary achievements.

LFMA serves as the interface with the Association Of State Floodplain Managers which among other interest lobbies legislation for ultimate presentation to Congress and other states. Natchitoches city and parish governments have been active participants in the National Flood Insurance program since 1987. Participation is based on a voluntary agreement between the communities and the federal government that requires each community to adopt and enforce a floodplain management ordinance to reduce future flood risk to new construction and substantially damaged structures in special flood hazard areas. Both offices issue construction permits, provide building inspections, code enforcement and maintains official record of development to remain compliant with the program and ensure that its community remains eligible for federal assistance and its citizens can purchase flood insurance.