Get your permits before repairing flood damaged structures in Adams Co.

Example of home rebuild following flooding. (An unfinished mitigated house during the Community Rebuilding and Flood Protection Expo. in New Orleans.)

Many residents affected by flood water in Adams County have already started thinking about repairs and rebuilding.

The big question is ... did you know you need to obtain permits for those repairs?

The Illinois Department of Natural Resources Office of Water Resources has issued a reminder to contact the Adams County Highway Department about requirements for obtaining permits before repairing or rebuilding flood-damaged structures.

Permits are required as part of the Adams County 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.

The Adams County ordinance requires that permits be obtained for any construction or development activity in a floodplain area, including the repair or reconstruction of structures damaged by flooding. Permits are required for all structures in the floodplain, whether the structure has flood insurance or not.

Special conditions apply to substantially damaged buildings - those in which the total cost of repairs is 50 percent or more of the structures pre-flood market value. If a building is found to be substantially damaged, federal regulations require that repairs not begin until compliance with the Adams County floodplain ordinance is demonstrated. In some cases, that may require repairs that include elevating or flood-proofing the structure to reduce the potential for future flood damage.

Repair costs must be calculated by assuming the building will be fully repaired to its pre-damaged condition, even if the owner decides to do less. The total cost calculation must include structural materials; finish materials and labor, even if the owner chooses to do his or her own repairs.

These costs will be included as cumulative from any other damages sustained previously to the structure, such as the 1993 and 2008 flood damages.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency and IDNR work with Adams County on floodplain ordinance enforcement to try to reduce the chances and costs of future flood damages.

Property owners and residents with flood-damaged buildings should contact the Adams County Highway Department at 217-223-0614, PO Box 3797, Quincy, IL 62305-3797 for more information on repair and reconstruction permits.

For more information on floodplain management and flood insurance issues, contact the Illinois Department of Natural Resources Office of Water Resources, One Natural Resources Way, Springfield, IL, 62702-1271, or phone 217-782-4428, SBC Relay 800-526-0844, TDD 217-782-9175.

(Information in this story was provided by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources Office of Water Resources.)