May 2, 2011
For more information, contact:
Bonnie J. Prigge or Tammy Snodgrass, (573) 265-2993
Flooded Phelps County Property Owners Need County Floodplain Permit Before Repairing, Rebuilding
MRPC serves as Phelps County’s floodplain administrator
PHELPS COUNTY – Some 50 property owners in potential flood areas near Jerome were mailed information on Friday, making them aware of Phelps County’s floodplain ordinance that requires a flood development permit before construction, renovation and repairs can be made, said Presiding Commissioner Randy Verkamp. This also includes rehab work to homes that have been flooded.
Meramec Regional Planning Commission administers the county’s floodplain management program and prepared the information packets. Tammy Snodgrass of MRPC worked with the county to identify Jerome property owners who may have been impacted by the rising waters of the Gasconade River.
“Because Phelps County participates in the National Flood Insurance Program, we must have a process that certifies compliance with FEMA and NFIP regulations,” Verkamp explained. “This doesn’t prevent you from building in a floodplain or making repairs to a flooded structure, however, you may need to follow certain design standards that would minimize damage in the event of a flood.” A property owner who was flooded and is planning to repair or rebuild any type of structure needs to complete the floodplain development permit request and submit it to
MRPC, who will help the property owner through the process,” Snodgrass explained. Based on the permit application, the floodplain administrator will provide detailed specifications to be followed for repair or construction in the floodplain. Once the administrator has provided the specification information, construction can begin.
“Our goal is to allow you to build in a floodplain, if that is your desire, but to do so in such away that the threat to lives and property are minimized, should flooding occur,” said Verkamp. Snodgrass pointed out that in the event that the Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA) becomes involved and offers reimbursement for repairs, the property owner must be able to demonstrate the damage and compliance with the county’s flood plain management program.
“We had a situation in the past where a property owner made improvements after a flood but did not secure a floodplain development permit,” Snodgrass said. “Sometime later when FEMA was offering to reimburse some of the repair costs, the property owner could not receive reimbursement because he lacked the required documentation that was a part of the floodplain development permit process. Our goal is to get the information out to these property owners and encourage them to follow the process so that they are eligible for any future assistance that may be made available and that the county remains eligible for flood insurance.”
If structures are out of compliance with NFIP, the entire county could lose its ability to participate in the flood insurance program. That would mean no one owning property in Phelps County would be able to purchase flood insurance, Snodgrass added. Verkamp encouraged residents to contact MRPC with any questions, especially residents who have been impacted by flooding and even those who are planning summer building projects.
For more information on floodplain regulations in Phelps County, persons should contact Snodgrass at MRPC at (573) 265-2993 or email email@example.com.