For immediate release
April 4, 2017
For more information, contact
Tammy Snodgrass at (573) 265-2993 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Spring, summer rains can mean flooding in Missouri;
flood insurance can cushion the blow
First in a three-part series
PHELPS COUNTY—Major flooding in Missouri can occur at any time of the year and cause millions of dollars of damage over a wide area. Missouri home and landowners should get ready for the rainy season by making sure their flood insurance is up-to-date and checking in with their Phelps County Flood administrator if they have any questions.
“Flood insurance helps businesses and private citizens recover after a flood,” said Randy Verkamp, Phelps County presiding commissioner.
Meramec Regional Planning Commission (MRPC) serves as the floodplain administrator for Phelps County and is available to answer questions.
While severe flooding usually comes in cycles, it is not limited to certain decades or areas, warns the National Weather Service. Since January 1993, Missouri received 30 disaster declarations involving flooding that exceeded local and state response capabilities, marking the most recent for the flood event from Dec. 23, 2015, through January 2016. Each year, Missouri communities experience numerous localized flooding events that do not merit a federal disaster declaration.
Residents in Beaver Creek Subdivision south of Rolla were victims of localized flooding in 2002 and 2015. Residents in Jerome were victims of flooding in 2008, 2011, 2013 and 2015, and residents of Newburg were victims of flooding in 2013 and 2015, along with many residents of rural Phelps County. The flooding that occurred in August 2013 was unprecedented, and many homeowners who had never had flooding issues before were faced with water in their homes and the damage it created. In 2015, flood levels in some locations rivaled the 2013 record.
If there is not a federal disaster declaration, flood insurance is the only financial protection for personal losses. Flood insurance is not provided in the basic homeowner’s, business or tenant’s policy. Flood insurance must be purchased under a separate policy through your local insurance agent in participating communities.
In Missouri, 666 flood-prone cities and counties participate in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), with nearly 500 having a moderate to high risk for flooding. When a community enters the NFIP, it agrees to regulate floodplain development; in return it also makes flood insurance available in that community. Phelps County joined the NFIP in 1984.
“Phelps County participates in the flood insurance program, and homeowners have the option to buy the insurance,” Verkamp said.
Residents need not live in an actual floodplain to be exposed to the hazard of serious flooding.
Here are some other important facts about NFIP:
- Homeowner insurance policies do not offer protection against flood losses.
- Homeowners, business owners and renters can purchase flood insurance as long as their community participates in the NFIP.
- You do not have to live in a high-risk flood area (or floodplain) to buy flood insurance. In fact, 25 percent of all flood insurance claims come from medium or low-risk flood areas.
- If you live in a high-risk flood area, you are four times more likely to have a flood than a fire during the term of a 30-year mortgage.
- You can buy flood insurance from any licensed insurance agent. You may call 1-800-427-2297 or go to floodsmart.gov to find an agent serving your area.
- Flood insurance coverage is available for residential and business structures and contents. If you have a home-based business, you’ll need to purchase separate coverage for the business and/or contents. Coverage is not automatically included under a homeowner flood insurance policy, even if the business is located inside your home.
- Renters can purchase contents coverage for personal belongings.
- There is a 30-day waiting period from the time the initial premium is paid until the time the policy becomes effective.
- A flood insurance policy reimburses you to certain limits for actions taken to prevent flood damages. These actions can include moving the insured contents to a safe place and/or the cost of purchasing sandbags, plastic sheeting, lumber, pumps, ect.
- Flood insurance claims are paid regardless of a federal disaster declaration.
- Flood insurance will reimburse you for your covered losses and never has to be repaid, unlike a disaster assistance loan.
- If your home or business qualifies for the Preferred Risk Policy, premiums may be as low as $177 per year.
For more information on flood plain regulations in Phelps County, persons should call Tammy Snodgrass with MRPC at 573-265-2993.
Formed in 1969, MRPC is a voluntary council of governments serving Crawford, Dent, Gasconade, Maries, Osage, Phelps, Pulaski and Washington counties and their respective cities. A professional staff of 25, directed by the MRPC board, offers technical assistance and services, such as grant preparation and administration, housing assistance, transportation planning, environmental planning, ordinance codification, business loans and other services to member communities.
To keep up with the latest MRPC news and events, visit the MRPC website at www.meramecregion.orgor on Facebook at www.facebook.com/meramecregion.