Post-Katrina house rises to new heights in uptown New Orleans

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Man's Post Hurricane Katrina House Rises to New Heights


NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) -- For 10 years, old houses have been raised to new heights by homeowners who don't want to risk another Hurricane Katrina flood.

In fact, FEMA requires homeowners who raise their houses to make sure the first floor is higher than a base flood elevation, which is indicated by little yellow dots on neighborhood telephone poles. Base flood elevation varies by neighborhood.

SEE MORE: Special coverage on the 10th anniversary Hurricane Katrina

Some homeowners are raising their homes four, five, or even six feet -- but for others, the sky's the limit.

In uptown New Orleans, WGNO found a single story house raised a full 20 feet -- two stories off the ground.



A neighbor told WGNO that the owner lives out of town and has been working on it off and on for years. The neighbor says the owner's name is Jack.

Neighbor Pamela Thomas weighed in, saying, "It's too high! It doesn't go with the other houses in the neighborhood. It's way too high."

The city doesn't think it's too high, though. After all, it has a city permit.

"Certainly from the aesthetic point of view I completely understand the concerns. It's a cinder block foundation, not the most attractive thing, but it's stable structurally. We're very confident that this building meets the code. We've worked with their engineer, and we are familiar with the way it was built," Department of Safety and Permits Director Jared Munster assured.

PHOTOS: New post-Katrina buildings and ongoing construction

26 PHOTOS
Katrina 10 year: New buildings and ongoing construction
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Post-Katrina house rises to new heights in uptown New Orleans
NEW ORLEANS, LA - AUGUST 24: Esther Joseph (R) stands in her home which is being rebuilt with the help of volunteers from lowernine.org in the Lower Ninth Ward on August 24, 2015 in New Orleans, Louisiana. The area was one of the most heavily devastated areas of the city following a levee breach during the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. The tenth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, which killed at least 1836 and is considered the costliest natural disaster in U.S. history, is August 29. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)
Volunteer coordinator Darren McKinney looks out the window of a hurricane damaged home, being rebuilt in the Lower Ninth Ward of New Orleans August 17, 2015. McKinney works for lowernine.org, an organization aiding residents rebuild their homes. Ten years after Hurricane Katrina ravaged New Orleans, the scars left behind are fading in a city that is forever changed. Brass bands still parade through neighborhoods, pulling dancing locals and tourists in their wake. But the flavor of this southern coastal city that was once more Afro-Caribbean and Creole than American has been altered. AFP PHOTO / LEE CELANO (Photo credit should read LEE CELANO/AFP/Getty Images)
Volunteer coordinator Darren McKinney works on a hurricane damaged home in the Lower Ninth Ward of New Orleans August 17, 2015. McKinney works for lowernine.org, an organization aiding residents rebuild their homes. Ten years ago, Hurricane Katrina swept buildings off their foundations and deluged nearly all of New Orleans with floodwaters which rose so fast some people drowned in their homes. Those who made it to their rooftops or the relative safety of dry land waited days to be rescued as the Big Easy descended into chaos. Today, colorful homes on stilts have replaced many of the rotting hulks left behind after the low-lying coastal city in the southern United States was finally drained. AFP PHOTO / LEE CELANO (Photo credit should read LEE CELANO/AFP/Getty Images)
Workers repair a damaged footing on the Inner Harbor Navigation Canal Surge Barrier on lake Borgne in New Orleans on August 17, 2015. Ten years ago, Hurricane Katrina swept buildings off their foundations and deluged nearly all of New Orleans with floodwaters which rose so fast some people drowned in their homes. Those who made it to their rooftops or the relative safety of dry land waited days to be rescued as the Big Easy descended into chaos. Today, colorful homes on stilts have replaced many of the rotting hulks left behind after the low-lying coastal city in the southern United States was finally drained. AFP PHOTO / LEE CELANO (Photo credit should read LEE CELANO/AFP/Getty Images)
Volunteer coordinator Darren McKinney (foreground) takes a break as he works on a hurricane damaged home in the Lower Ninth Ward of New Orleans on August 17, 2015. McKinney works for lowernine.org, an organization aiding residents rebuild their homes. Ten years ago, Hurricane Katrina swept buildings off their foundations and deluged nearly all of New Orleans with floodwaters which rose so fast some people drowned in their homes. Those who made it to their rooftops or the relative safety of dry land waited days to be rescued as the Big Easy descended into chaos. Today, colorful homes on stilts have replaced many of the rotting hulks left behind after the low-lying coastal city in the southern United States was finally drained. AFP PHOTO / LEE CELANO (Photo credit should read LEE CELANO/AFP/Getty Images)
NEW ORLEANS, LA - JULY 22: A new high school is being built in the Lower Ninth Ward, on July 22, 2015 in New Orleans, Louisiana. It's been ten years since hurricane Katrina devastated neighborhoods throughout the city. This area was wiped out when this levee broke after the storm. Schools are just one of many things being improved post Katrina. While many homes have been rebuilt, there are still many empty lots where homes used to stand. (Photo by Melanie Stetson Freeman/The Christian Science Monitor via Getty Images
NEW ORLEANS, LA - JULY 22: A new high school is being built in the Lower Ninth Ward, on July 22, 2015 in New Orleans, Louisiana. It's been ten years since hurricane Katrina devastated neighborhoods throughout the city. This area was wiped out when this levee broke after the storm. Schools are just one of many things being improved post Katrina. While many homes have been rebuilt, there are still many empty lots where homes used to stand. (Photo by Melanie Stetson Freeman/The Christian Science Monitor via Getty Images
Water and ongoing construction is seen at the 17th Street Canal pumping station in New Orleans, Wednesday, May 20, 2015. With hurricane season approaching, the Army Corps of Engineers is running through its plans and testing pumps and floodgates built around New Orleans since Hurricane Katrina struck 10 years ago to better protect this low-lying metropolis from flooding. Corps officials said they found a few minor problems during the testing and were fixing them. Otherwise, officials said the system is ready and in better shape than ever before. Hurricane season starts on June 1 and lasts until Nov. 30. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)
NEW ORLEANS, LA - MAY 28: Construction workers from Honduras and Mexico work on new houses in the Lower Ninth Ward, on May 28, 2015 in New Orleans, Louisiana. This neighborhood was destroyed when the nearby industrial canal levy broke during hurricane Katrina. Brad Pitt's Make it Right Foundation has been building many homes in this area - including these. The foundation builds sustainable homes for people in need. It has been almost 10 years since Katrina hit New Orleans, devastating many neighborhoods. Rebuilding has been slow and controversial. (Photo by Melanie Stetson Freeman/The Christian Science Monitor via Getty Images)
NEW ORLEANS, LA - MAY 28: Construction workers from Honduras and Mexico work on new houses in the Lower Ninth Ward, on May 28, 2015 in New Orleans, Louisiana. This neighborhood was destroyed when the nearby industrial canal levy broke during hurricane Katrina. Brad Pitt's Make it Right Foundation has been building many homes in this area - including these. The foundation builds sustainable homes for people in need. It has been almost 10 years since Katrina hit New Orleans, devastating many neighborhoods. Rebuilding has been slow and controversial. (Photo by Melanie Stetson Freeman/The Christian Science Monitor via Getty Images)
NEW ORLEANS, LA - MAY 18: A storm gate stands as construction continues on the 17th Street Canal pump station on May 18, 2015 in New Orleans, Louisiana. The 17th Street Canal levee was breached during Hurricane Katrina and the Army Corps of Engineers are engaged in the ongoing efforts to rebuild and fortify the regional levee system. The tenth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, which killed at least 1836 and is considered the costliest natural disaster in U.S. history, is August 29. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)
NEW ORLEANS, LA - MAY 18: Workers construct a new 'Make it Right Foundation' home along the rebuilt Industrial Canal levee wall in the Lower Ninth Ward on May 18, 2015 in New Orleans, Louisiana. The levee was destroyed during Hurricane Katrina and people have been slowly moving back to the formerly devastated neighborhood ever since. The tenth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, which killed at least 1836 and is considered the costliest natural disaster in U.S. history, is August 29. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)
NEW ORLEANS, LA - MAY 12: Partially demolished buildings of the B.W. Cooper housing projects are shown on May 12, 2015 in New Orleans, Louisiana. The projects were damaged by Hurricane Katrina flooding but sections are only now being town down. The low-income housing development has finally been replaced by two-story, townhouse-style buildings nearby. The tenth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, which killed at least 1,836 people and is considered the costliest natural disaster in U.S. history, is August 29. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)
With Lake Pontchartrain seen in the background, construction workers hoist materials at the 17th Street Canal pumping station in New Orleans, Wednesday, May 20, 2015. With hurricane season approaching, the Army Corps of Engineers is running through its plans and testing pumps and floodgates built around New Orleans since Hurricane Katrina struck 10 years ago to better protect this low-lying metropolis from flooding. Corps officials said they found a few minor problems during the testing and were fixing them. Otherwise, officials said the system is ready and in better shape than ever before. Hurricane season starts on June 1 and lasts until Nov. 30. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)
NEW ORLEANS, LA - MAY 15: Esther Joseph sweeps in her flood damaged home which is still being rebuilt in the Lower Ninth Ward on May 15, 2015 in New Orleans, Louisiana. She hopes to move into the house when completed by the end of the year. The tenth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, which killed at least 1836 and is considered the costliest natural disaster in U.S. history, is August 29. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)
NEW ORLEANS, LA - MAY 15: French volunteers with lowernine.org help rebuild a home heavily damaged by Hurricane Katrina flooding in the Lower Ninth Ward on May 15, 2015 in New Orleans, Louisiana. Residents continue to slowly return to the Lower Ninth Ward although much of the area remains uninhabited. The tenth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, which killed at least 1836 and is considered the costliest natural disaster in U.S. history, is August 29. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)
NEW ORLEANS, LA - MAY 15: Ohio State student volunteers with lowernine.org help rebuild a home heavily damaged by Hurricane Katrina flooding in the Lower Ninth Ward on May 15, 2015 in New Orleans, Louisiana. Residents continue to slowly return to the Lower Ninth Ward although much of the area remains uninhabited. The tenth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, which killed at least 1836 and is considered the costliest natural disaster in U.S. history, is August 29. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)
NEW ORLEANS, LA - MAY 12: A home destroyed by Hurricane Katrina flooding waits to be demolished in the Lower Ninth Ward on May 12, 2015 in New Orleans, Louisiana. The area was heavily damaged during Hurricane Katrina and people have been slowly moving back to the formerly devastated neighborhood ever since. The tenth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, which killed at least 1836 and is considered the costliest natural disaster in U.S. history, is August 29. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)
NEW ORLEANS, LA - MAY 12: A work crew demolishes buildings at the B.W. Cooper housing projects on May 12, 2015 in New Orleans, Louisiana. The projects were damaged by Hurricane Katrina flooding but sections are only now being town down. The low-income housing development has finally been replaced by two-story, townhouse-style buildings nearby. The tenth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, which killed at least 1836 and is considered the costliest natural disaster in U.S. history, is August 29. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)
One of the modular houses built by the Brad Pitt's Make It Right Foundation is seen in the Lower Ninth Ward of New Orleans on February 5, 2013. Pitt rasied $30 million for the project that consists of hurricane-proof homes. The Ninth Ward area suffered the worst damage from Hurricane Katrina that occured in 2005 after multiple breaches in the levees of at least four canals. As of March 2009, hundreds of houses have been rebuilt, and dozens of new homes have been constructed. AFP PHOTO / TIMOTHY A. CLARY (Photo credit should read TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/Getty Images)
A vacant house sits in front of One of the modular houses built by the Brad Pitt's Make It Right Foundation in the Lower Ninth Ward of New Orleans on February 5, 2013. Pitt rasied $30 million for the project that consists of hurricane-proof homes. This area suffered the worst damage from Hurricane Katrina that occured in 2005 after multiple breaches in the levees of at least four canals. As of March 2009, hundreds of houses have been rebuilt, and dozens of new homes have been constructed. AFP PHOTO / TIMOTHY A. CLARY (Photo credit should read TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/Getty Images)
In this Jan. 31, 2013, photo, damaged houses sit vacant in the Lower Ninth Ward of New Orleans, a neighborhood that was hit hard by floodwaters from a levee break after Hurricane Katrina. The glittering party in the French Quarter is going stronger than ever. But as revelers celebrate the ultimate comeback from those dark days in 2005, there are still areas of New Orleans that do not look much different than they did right after Hurricane Katrina swept through. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
In this Jan. 31, 2013, photo, the shell of a damaged building sits vacant in the Lower Ninth Ward of New Orleans, a neighborhood that was hit hard by floodwaters from a levee break after Hurricane Katrina. The glittering party in the French Quarter is going stronger than ever. But as revelers celebrate the ultimate comeback from those dark days in 2005, there are still areas of New Orleans that do not look much different than they did right after Hurricane Katrina swept through. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
NEW ORLEANS, LA - DECEMBER 13: New Orleans home owner Ms. Mary Rush (C) walks through her house that is being completely rebuilt after being devastated by Hurricane Katrina at the IrvingMorris/United Way/NFL Saints: Hope For The Holiday Rebuild at Private Residence on December 13, 2011 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Skip Bolen/WireImage for United Way)
** COMMERCIAL IMAGE ** In this photograph taken by AP Images for Rebuilding Together - Former NFL football player and Managing Director of NFL Alumni Ron George works on a house as a volunteer with Rebuilding Together's Fifty for Five, a national non-profit which is rebuilding 50 homes in five days in the Gentilly neighborhood of New Orleans, Friday, August 27, 2010. Rebuilding Together created Fifty for Five to commemorate the fifth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina and has rebuilt more than 750 homes in the Gulf Coast since 2005. (Chuck Cook/AP Images for Rebuilding Together)
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