By Larry Dietz, CCIM, Associate Broker for Saurage Rotenberg Commercial Real Estate 

The Greater Baton Rouge Metropolitan area, which of course would include the key parishes of Livingston and Ascension, suffered a truly historic event in August. This area, with a population of approximately 280,000 people living in about 110,000 homes suffered an unprecedented natural disaster. The Great Flood of 2016 far surpassed any previous event in this area.  

Of those 110,000 homes, almost half of them (54,611) were damaged by flooding and of those over half (27,500) were not considered to be in a “high risk area” for flooding and many of those home-owners, as a result of that determination, did not carry flood insurance.

There is a reason for that.

This event is being called a “1,000-Year Event”. In Livingston, there was 21.86 inches of rain over this two-day period, August 12-13. The odds of that much rain in that specific area is 0.1%. Literally a once in a 1,000-year occurrence based on current statistics.

Given the odds of an event like that, how do you realistically calculate or determine the necessity for raising homes to the new Base Flood Elevation level (BFE) that is, as yet, to be determined? This is what is being currently debated by all parties involved. At a certain point, Nature does indeed take its toll. Given the incredible costs just to re-build “As-Is”, the additional costs involved in raising those damaged homes 2, 4 or even 6 feet (figures being tossed around) is, frankly, unsustainable by the vast majority of home-owners, especially those without flood insurance.

The odds of this “1,000-Year Event” occurring again certainly needs to be considered in making that kind of decision.

From a purely meteorological perspective, how did this event occur? That in and of itself is an interesting story and worth a short read. 

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Larry Dietz, an associate broker with 
Saurage Rotenberg Commercial Real Estate, has over 30 years of Sales, Marketing and Public Relations experience.  He is a Designee member of the Certified Commercial Investment Member Institute (CCIM) and CCIM Louisiana Chapter; a member of the Commercial Investment Division of the Greater Baton Rouge Board of REALTORS® (CID); as well as an affiliate member of the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR).  He is a licensed real estate broker in Louisiana and Mississippi.

Saurage Rotenberg Commercial Real Estate is a member of the Baton Rouge Area Chamber of Commerce (BRAC); the West Baton Rouge Chamber of Commerce; the Baton Rouge Better Business Bureau; the Louisiana Commercial Data Base (LACDB); and the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC). Several agents, on an individual basis, are members of the Society of Industrial and Office Realtors® (SIOR), the Certified Commercial Investment Member Institute (CCIM); the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR); and the Greater Baton Rouge Association of REALTORS® Commercial Investment Division (CID).