March 30, 2012
Thinking about a construction or renovation project in Phelps County?
“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, however, you may need to follow certain design standards that would minimize damage in the event of a flood.”
Meramec Regional Planning Commission administers the county’s floodplain management program. “If you are planning to build any type of structure or improve existing structures, you need to determine if you are in a floodplain, and we can help you do that,” said Tammy Snodgrass, environmental programs manager with MRPC. “If your lending institution is requiring you to purchase flood insurance, that is a good indication that you may be in an area susceptible to flooding, and you most definitely need to contact us,” Snodgrass added. “The sooner you find out, the better,” she added.
By using FEMA floodplain maps, MRPC will determine whether a floodplain
“For example, the lowest floor of the planned project may need to be elevated or you may have to forego a basement, because no basements are allowed in a floodplain,” Snodgrass said. Once the administrator has provided the specification information, construction can begin. The administrator will then follow up by requiring an elevation certificate.
“That documents the elevation of the lowest floor of the structure and certifies compliance with federal regulations,” Snodgrass explained.
“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.
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 explained. Verkamp encouraged residents to contact MRPC with any questions, especially residents that 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.