(Orange, Texas)

Local News

December 11, 2013

County, cities join Bridge City in appealing flood maps

ORANGE — Government officials are fighting back.

Orange County, the cities of Orange and West Orange have followed Bridge City on appealing the National Flood Insurance Program Rate Map created by FEMA.

The county opted to take no action on hiring Lonnie G. Harper and Associates at this time but are willing to file the appeal.

Mayor Kirk Roccaforte of Bridge City said the company has asked for information for the county so much will not have to be duplicated as they already have the information.

West Orange Mayor Roy McDonald said the city had exhausted all other options.

“We won’t win if we are not in the fight,” McDonald said. “Stockman tried helping.”

In a letter from Congressman Stockman to Mayor McDonald, Stockman wrote on September 19 he introduced H.R. 3156. The Responsible Implementation of Flood Insurance Reform Act which makes several reforms to the Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Act of 2012. The Act will not pass prior to the deadline,

The appeal must be filed by Tuesday, Dec. 24.

West Orange Fire Marshall/Building Inspector Dean Fuller said the new maps would go into affect immediately.

“This will hurt a lot of people,” Fuller said.

West Orange Chief of Police Michael Stelly said he could not see how the city could not contest the maps.

“The more entities involved,” Stelly said. “The lower the cost.”

The total cost to all the entities is $85,000.

“After the December deadline, it’s a done deal,” Orange Mayor Jimmy Sims said. “We don’t want people walking out of homes they cannot afford.”

Orange City Manager Shawn Oubre said the flood maps and flood elevations will affect rates for the nationally backed flood insurance plan.

“The insurance program is in a deficit,” Oubre said. “Hurricane Sandy kept it in a deficit.”

Oubre said an area of Orange shown as a flood zone in the new maps has a high level of houses located in the area.

“This is get the appeal started,” Oubre said during the Orange City Council meeting Tuesday morning.

Oubre said the city could do a cost analysis after agreeing to entering the appeal process.

“With the new maps, there is not a grandfather clause” Oubre said. “The maps could affect the ad valorem tax rate and growth of the city.”

The new flood rate maps place approximately 80 percent of Bridge City within flood zones and will greatly impact residents with higher flood insurance rates. Extremely high flood insurance rates could stunt business growth and increased population in this community.

In July 2012, the U.S. Congress passed the Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012, often referred to as BW-12, which calls on the FEMA, and other agencies, to make a number of changes to the way the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) is run, according to

Key provisions of the legislation will require the NFIP to raise rates to reflect true flood risk, make the program more financially stable, and change how Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM) updates impact policyholders. The changes will mean premium rate increases for some—but not all—policyholders over time.

The City of Vidor has already added the topic to the next scheduled council meeting on Thursday.

Text Only
Local News
  • One fatality in auto pedestrian collision

    DPS Troopers in Orange County were called to an auto-pedestrian crash on State Highway 62 near Farm to Market Road 105 at around 6:30 a.m. this morning.

    April 24, 2014

  • Local Masons.jpg Area 1st graders receive gift from local Masons

    More than 600 first graders at five elementary schools in Vidor, Orange, and Orangefield recently received free prevent tooth decay kits through the Fantastic Teeth Fan Club.

    April 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • St Mary Fest adv.JPG 80 year tradition, St. Mary Catholic School Spring Festival, starts Saturday

    An April tradition is the St. Mary Catholic School Spring Festival.

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Shop Orange County adv.JPG Shop Orange County kicks-off Thursday

    A person has a choice of where one eats, shops and does business.

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • BCHS SOM.jpg Student of the Month

    The Bridge City Chamber of Commerce recognized Jayden Trahan, at middle, as the Bridge City High School “Student of the Month”....

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Health Scores

    The Orange County Health Code and Compliance Inspector recently visited 20 food service businesses in the county with 13 receiving a score of 100 for no violations present during the inspections.

    April 21, 2014

  • Bridge City Police Beat (March 30 - April 5, 2014)

    The Bridge City Police Department responded to the following calls from March 30 - April 5, 2014.

    April 20, 2014

  • MADD VHS.jpg MADD motivation

    Marissa Anderson, Family and Consumer Science teacher at Vidor High School, invited two guest speakers from MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Driving), Kathy Hernandez and Dani Simien, to speak to students at the school recently.

    April 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • NAACP to hold candidates forum on Tuesday

    The May 10 general election is just around the corner and one organization wants to make sure voters are well informed on candidates in two specific races.

    April 20, 2014

  • Library Family of the Year.JPG Library Family of the Year announced

    The American Association of University Women (AAUW) presented the Garmon family of Orange with their annual Library Family of the Year award at the Orange Public Library Saturday morning.

    April 20, 2014 1 Photo

Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide