Alliance Insurance Agency Services in Metairie and Covington, Louisiana
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Welcome to the Northshore!
An introduction the Northshore of the New Orleans Metropolitan area
 

Alliance Insurance Agency Services, Inc - Covington
201 Holiday Blvd Suite 410
Covington, Louisiana 70433
Map to our Covington Office ~ Our Covington Office and Staff

Thinking about moving to 'The Northshore'?
Here's some interesting facts and history about the north side of Lake Pontchartrain including a few good reasons why you should consider "The Northshore" as your home in the New Orleans area!

Alliance Insurance Agency covers all the NorthshoreThe Northshore! That's all you have to say to anyone from New Orleans or Southeast Louisiana and instantly they know you're referring to the region of Louisiana bordered by Mississippi to the north and east, the Baton Rouge Metro area to the west and of course Lake Pontchartrain (and Lake Maurepas and the surrounding wetlands) to the south.

Referred to around New Orleans as 'the Northshore', 'the Florida Parishes', 'across the lake' and even 'God's country', the parishes of Saint Tammany, Tangiphoa, Livingston, Saint Helena and Washington have long held a bit of mystical intrigue for the residents of New Orleans and 'the Southshore'. The small town atmosphere, the expansive greenery, plus the easy access to shopping and suburban conveniences have made the Northshore for many, the most desired place to live and work in the entire New Orleans area.

A major attractive feature for families moving to Covington and other towns on the Northshore are the much newer, larger homes and the much larger (and greener) home lots than can be bought for the same prices in comparable neighborhoods on the Southshore. Residents of the Northshore live considerably closer to nature than their Southshore counterparts of Metropolitan New Orleans. Whether it's kayaking on the Northshore's numerous rivers, or cycling the 31 mile long Tammany Trace, or simply enjoying the extra green space of acre sized home lots, Northshore residents enjoy plenty of elbow room without sacrificing any of the big city conveniences. It's not unusual to find Northshore residents who were born and raised in New Orleans, Metairie, Chalmette or other Southshore communities who have not been back to the south shore of Lake Pontchartrain in many years!

Higher, Drier and Even Feels a Little Cooler!
Along with the parishes of East Baton Rouge and East and West Feliciana, the Louisiana parishes of the Northshore are still known by many as the Florida Parishes. Colonial Spanish Florida extended west along the Gulf Coast from present day Florida all the way to the Mississippi River. The only exception to the Spanish royal claim of 'Florida' east of the Mississippi River was the 'the Southshore' and that part of Louisiana lying south of Lake Pontchartrain to the Gulf of Mexico, which was claimed by France.

The geography of the Northshore gives reason to the Spanish claim. The northshore land is distinctly different from the 'land' on the south shore. Look at any map of the United States and you can easily see the ancient coast line of the Gulf of Mexico extending all the way to the north shore of Lake Pontchartrain. New Orleans and all the land to the south of Lake Pontchartrain is Mississippi River delta sediment.

That's why we have 'coffee grounds' soil on the New Orleans side and much sandier soil on the Northshore. (Florida sand!) It's why strawberries and azaleas grow so well in towns like Covington and Ponchatoula (strawberries and azaleas love acidic sandy soil) and require a compost of acidic pine needles (from the Northshore) just to say alive in New Orleans or Metairie.

Even the humidity is a little lower and the summer heat a bit more bearable on the Northshore of Lake Pontchtrain than on the Southshore. This can be attested to by the popularity of the excursion boats that regularly crossed Lake Pontchartrain on hot summer days in the late 1800s and early 20th century. The boats carried thousands of over-heated New Orleans citizens across Lake Pontchartrain to towns like Mandeville, Madisonville and Covington for a little relief from the smothering humidity of the much 'swampier' Southshore.  A ferry service continued to operate carrying passengers from New Orleans to the Northshore until the mid-1930s!

In a nutshell, the Northshore is higher and drier (and the heat a little more bearable during the summer) than New Orleans and the rest of the Southshore. Everyone knows that large parts of New Orleans and the Southshore are below sea level. However Covington is officially 26 feet above sea level and even low lying Slidell is 10 feet above sea level. Folsom in hilly north Saint Tammany Parish is a whopping 154 feet above sea level!!! The Spanish took the high ground. The French took the swamps.

When it Rains, It Drains!
Although Slidell, on the northeastern edge of Lake Pontchartrain, has an extensive levee system with massive pumps like New Orleans, Metairie and other communities on the Southshore, most of the towns on the Northshore such as Covington, Mandeville, Madisonville and especially towns further north and west such as Bogolusa and Hammond all drain naturally.

The higher elevation of the Northshore allows residents to be safer from flooding by storm surge and generally pay less for flood insurance (when it's required) than residents of New Orleans and the Southshore. If you're concerned about the cost of flood insurance not to mention the actual danger of storm surges from hurricanes, here is a sample of official town elevations for the Northshore. Remember, parts of New Orleans are as low as 6 feet BELOW sea level and Metairie has an official elevation of only 3 feet! I don't think they worry much about flood insurance in Folsom!

Covington (Saint Tammany Parish) elevation 26 feet

Mandeville (Saint Tammany Parish) elevation 7 feet

Madisonville (Saint Tammany Parish) elevation 7 feet

Slidell (Saint Tammany Parish) elevation 10 feet

Folsom (Saint Tammany Parish) elevation 154 feet

Hammond (Tangipahoa Parish) elevation 43 feet

Bogolusa (Washington Parish) elevation 95 feet

More Green, Less Mosquitos!
An obvious advantage to the Northshore's higher elevation than New Orleans and the Southshore is less mosquitos. Sure there are mosquitos everywhere in Louisiana but anyone too young to remember summer evenings in New Orleans before the days of malathione and the 'mosquito spray trucks' only needs to step outside on a summer night along HWY 90 in far eastern Orleans Parish. They will eat you alive! Not quite as bad on the Northshore. On the Northshore you can make it to from your car to your front door on a summer evening without loosing a pint of blood, even without the 'mosquito spray trucks'.

Yes, New Orleans is a green city with plenty of ancient oaks as well as lush gardens and lawns. However, the Northshore still has that small town feel (despite the busy commerce along Hwy 190). There are still plenty of green woods, farms and fields between the towns of the Northshore despite the rapid growth of the past half century. Finally, the home lots are much larger on the Northshore than on the Southshore which means plenty of green space between you and your neighbor. And the trees! Pine trees so thick you often can't see the house just 100 feet off the street.

When you cross the Lake Pontchartrain Causeway from the Southshore to the Northshore, you've travelled much further than just the 24 mile length of the bridge. You're now a world apart from where you started!

The Causeway Changed Everything!Alliance Insurance Agency offers homeowners insurance for Covington and all towns on the Northshore
With the opening of the Lake Pontchartrain Causeway in 1956, Covington and the Northshore became part of the New Orleans Metropolitan Area. The Northshore would never be the same again. For the first time it was feasible to live on the Northshore and commute to New Orleans for work in well under one hour. Before the opening of the Causeway, it took an hour longer to reach Covington from New Orleans by completely circling Lake Pontchartrain via old US Highways 90 and 11 to the east or 61 and 51 to the west.
(This was before the interstate system even reached Louisiana!)

With the Causeway cutting the commute time to the Northshore in half, the population of the Northshore exploded! In 1960 the population of St. Tammany Parish was only 38,673. By 1970 St Tammany's population had increased to 63,585. A second 2-lane span was added to the Causeway in 1969 and by 2015 over 240,000 people called Saint Tammany home.

Still the World's Longest Bridge!
Let's get something straight once and for all. The Lake Pontchartrain Causeway is the World's Longest Bridge over Water. Period. The Lake Pontchartrain Causeway is 23.86 miles long, every foot a straight shot over water.

In 2011, China opened the Jiaozhou Bay bridge. The bridge is 26.4 miles long and was immediately touted as the "World's Longest Bridge over Water" by everyone from the Chinese national press to the Guiness Book of World Records.

Here's the catch. The Jiaozhou Bay Bridge is the World's Longest Bridge that CROSSES Water! The Jiaozhou Bay Bridge spans water for only 16.1 miles of it's official 26.4 mile length. Included in the 26.4 mile figure are the land bridges on both ends of the bridge and an under-sea tunnel that was part of the same Jiaozhou Bay Bridge Connection Project. Guinness World Records included the entire elevated bridge project both over land and over water and the tunnel.

To try and clear things up Guiness labeled the Jiaozhou Bay Bridge as the "longest bridge over water (aggregate)" and the Lake Pontchartrain Causeway as the "longest bridge over water (continuous)" while insisting on labeling the Jiaozhou Bay Bridge as the "longest". (There are elevated high speed rail lines in China that technically are longer bridges but they are over land!)

Well, no cheating here! The Lake Pontchartrain Causeway crosses water for nearly 8 miles longer than the Jiaozhou Bay Bridge! By the way, Louisiana's Manchac Swamp Bridge (I-55 from Laplace to Ponchatoula) is 22.8 miles long and it's over water, too! If you want to play that game, it's nearly 40 miles of continuous driving on a bridge over water (swamps) from Kenner to Pontchatoula via I-10 and I-55. And except for a couple of levees, it's all over water including the LaBranche Wetlands, the Bonnet Carré Spillway and the Manchac Swamps! How you like dem apples, Mr Guiness?

Hurricane Katrina
Although Hurricane Katrina made landfall near Slidell, which suffered large scale damage from wind and flooding, the Northshore overall, including Covington, had far less damage from the storm than New Orleans and the Southshore.

Much of the Northshore, including Covington, had extensive wind damage from Hurricane Katrina, but with the absence of large scale flooding (with the exception of Slidell), the Northshore became known as a place of refuge from hurricane storm surges.

Following Hurricane Katrina, Covington, along with the rest of the North Shore of Lake Pontchartrain, experienced further population growth as many former residents of the New Orleans area lost their homes and relocated to the Northshore. The Northshore had proved it's advantage as a 'high and drier' place to live in the event of a major hurricane. The storm events have only added strengh to the Northshore's steady population growth.

 

Alliance Insurance is a member of these better business organizations.

Alliance Insurance Agency Services, Inc.
Serving the Greater New Orleans Area since 1988

In Metairie
4444 York Street
Suite 100
Metairie, Louisiana  70001
 
Phone: (504) 831-2196
Fax: (504) 837-3389

In Covington
201 Holiday Blvd
Suite 410
Covington, Louisiana 70433
 
Phone: (985) 273-3150
Fax:(985) 400-5396

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