Flooding Recovery: The Paperwork and Process

PEARL, Miss – The rain is gone for now, leaving the Magnolia state dealing with the aftermath of massive flooding. Initial damage reports show 185 homes destroyed or sustained major damage and a total of 649 with minor damage or affected with assessments still ongoing.

If you live in a floodplain, unfortunately beginning the repair process isn’t as easy as going to Lowe’s and calling your insurance. There are different permits you must get, and The Mississippi Emergency Management Agency’s Floodplain Bureau has some tips to help you navigate the process.

Make sure you have documentation of all the damage. Take pictures, show how high water rose in your home, and make note of lost items.

There are other things you must do prior to starting the rebuilding process. If your home or business is located within a Special Flood Hazard area or is in a flood zone that begins with the letter ‘A, or V’ you must have a permit before you begin certain repair or reconstruction work.

If you begin work without a permit, you may be fined. Your local floodplain administrator has any information you may need. If you’re not sure if you’re in a floodplain area, contact the administrator.

You would need a permit if you live in a floodplain to replace or repair any of the following items:

  • Roof.
  • Walls.
  • Siding.
  • Plaster.
  • Cabinets.
  • Flooring.
  • Electrical systems.
  • Plumbing.
  • Heating and air conditioning units.

Before you’re granted a permit, local floodplain administrators will arrange an inspection to make sure everything is up to code before the build.

If you’re cleaning, throwing out damage, covering holes to prevent rain from getting in, or taking out sagging ceiling tiles, you won’t need the permit, as these are temporary fixes that improve your safety chances in that building.

Before you begin any repairs, you  must contact your floodplain administrator for the proper inspection and paperwork or you could be fined.