DESOTO COUNTY, MS (abc24.com) - With this year's drought, flooding is the last thing you'd expect to think about in DeSoto County, but emergency workers are urging residents to be prepared. They're asking everyone to review changes to the area's floodplains since the state just updated flood maps for all of DeSoto County.
The changes affect homeowners throughout North Mississippi who may need to get new flood insurance, or possibly cancel theirs depending on the changes.
"I've got six acres here and am looking forward to living next to my mother," says William Ellis. He started building his new house about a week ago. "I've got to have my engineer come back out and I might spend more money."
Ellis' future home is on a floodplain, meaning it must meet special building standards.
"Have to make sure the house two feet above elevation," says Andy Swims, the county's floodplain manager. He's in charge of getting the word out that the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency just issued new maps for DeSoto County. They've got provisions on them to actual floodplains in DeSoto County, inside the cities and in unincorporated areas.
Swims says residents should come to a meeting this Thursday to find out if they're in one. "You're required to carry floodplain insurance. It affects you if you've moved into one or other way, if you've moved out."
The maps apply to the entire county from Hernando to Olive Branch and Southaven.
The meeting's a chance for homeowners like Ellis to discuss their status with the experts.
"I'm planning on it just to see," he says. "They've got new standards and everything. If someone does need to build down here they need to know. You've got to do what the county tells you to do. That's okay, it's just more money. All it is more money."
The meeting is Thursday, July 19th at the road department in Nesbit from 5 to 7 p.m.