Third in a three-part series
PHELPS COUNTY—Anyone who has experienced flooding may have also cleaned out basements filled with sewage and water, torn out wet drywall and carpeting, or replaced water heaters and furnaces. The following inexpensive mitigation measures may make these damages a thing of the past.
- Elevate or relocate water heaters, furnaces and major appliances. It is much easier to relocate these appliances to a floor located above Base Flood Elevation (BFE) – or 100-year flood. If they cannot be relocated, then you need to elevate the appliance to two feet above the base flood elevation if known, or at least 24 inches above the high-water mark from the highest known flood. Some heating systems can be suspended from the ceiling.
- Raise electrical panel boxes, circuit breakers, wall switches and any electric outlets to two feet above the base flood elevation if known, or at least 24 inches above the high water mark from the highest known flood.
- To prevent sewer backups, install a backflow valve either inside or outside the structure.
- Install floating floor drain plugs at the lowest point of the lowest finished floor to allow water to drain. When the flood drainpipe backs up, the float rises and plugs the drain.
- Anchor propane tanks and fuel tanks to prevent them from floating, overturning or breaking loose in a flood. Metal structural supports and fasteners should be non-corrosive and wooden structural supports should be pressure treated.
- Check with your local building code officials and floodplain manager before starting any construction in a floodplain. There are no building codes required in the unincorporated areas of Phelps County, but floodplain development permits are required in flood hazard areas.
- Take photographs or a video of your home and all contents and store the documentation in a safe place. This is helpful if you have to file an insurance claim or seek assistance following a community-wide disaster.
- Consider flood insurance if you are in an area conducive to flooding, as standard homeowner policies do not cover flood damage.
- Visit gov to learn more.
- Visit noaa.gov/floodsafety/ to learn more about preparing for a flood.
With spring rains beginning, flooding is a real possibility. Phelps County has adopted a floodplain management ordinance to reduce future flood damage. The heart of the ordinance is a permit program that regulates development in flood hazard areas. Property owners must obtain a permit from the community floodplain manager before starting new construction or renovating an existing structure in a floodplain. Phelps County’s floodplain administrator is Meramec Regional Planning Commission, 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 23, 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.org or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/meramecregion.