Flood Damage? Want Assistance? Get the Permit.

4th and Main looking east 010216As property owners in the City of Cape Girardeau contemplate clean up and repairs following recent flooding, the Development Services Department reminds residents the importance of following proper permit protocol before repairing or rebuilding flood-damaged structures.
The permits are required as part of local government participation in the National Flood Insurance Program, providing eligibility for flood insurance, flood disaster assistance, state and federal grants and loans, and buyout funds for flood-prone property. Local floodplain management ordinances require permits be obtained for any construction or development activity in a floodplain area, including the repair or reconstruction of structures damaged by flooding.  Failure to follow the proper protocols may hinder a property owner’s eligibility for assistance.
Special conditions apply to substantially damaged buildings – those in which the total cost of repairs is 50 percent or more of the structure’s pre-flood market value.  If a building is found to be substantially damaged, regulations require repairs not begin until compliance with the local floodplain ordinance is demonstrated.  In some cases, the structure may be required to be elevated or flood-proofed to reduce the potential for future flood damage.
The cost to repair must be calculated for full repair to “pre-damaged” condition, even if the owner elects to do less. The total cost to repair includes structural and finish materials as well as labor. If labor and materials have been donated they must still be assigned a value. If local building codes require the structure to be repaired according to certain standards, these additional costs must be included in the full repair cost for the structure.
State and federal assistance may be available to property owners to reduce the chances of future flood damage.  Mitigation assistance may cover costs of relocation, or for elevating or purchasing flood-damaged structures.  Flood insurance may also provide up to $30,000 to protect a structure from future flood damage.
Property owners and residents with flood-damaged buildings should contact the City of Cape Girardeau Development Services Department for more information on repair and reconstruction permits.  Please schedule an inspection to assess any flood damage prior to beginning any work.  Development Services is located on the 2nd floor of City Hall, 401 Independence, Cape Girardeau MO, (573) 339-6327.