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In A Floodplain? Get Required Permits Before Rebuilding

Release date: 
October 2, 2007
Release Number: 
1719-035

LA CROSSE, Wis. -- Wisconsin residents are urged to consult local building officials for information and permits when considering new construction or repairs on property affected by recent flooding.

Obtaining building permits for homes or businesses located within the 100-year flood plain is especially important, according to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. For floodplain management purposes, the floodplain is the area covered by a flood that has a 1% chance of occurring in any given year.   

By visiting the local zoning and building permit administrator at the village, city or county government office where the property is located, residents may find out if their property is on a federally designated floodplain. 

Additional permits may be required, such as a land use permit or zoning permit, depending on the property location.  Local governments cannot reduce or ignore the floodplain requirements for building or repair. Repair projects must meet community building codes and flood-damage prevention ordinances.  These guidelines are important to communities and residents since they:

  • protect the residents, their families, communities, and buildings by ensuring all proposed work complies with current codes, standards, flood ordinances and construction techniques,
  • provide a permanent record of compliance with elevation, and/or retrofitting requirements, which is useful information when selling your home and necessary for the flood insurance rating,
  • provide suggestions or literature on how to better protect your home or business from future disaster-related damages,
  • provide consumers with information on selecting licensed contractors and advice on protection from unscrupulous contractors.

Residents are asked to start construction and repair only after they have received permits from their local building department.  For more information on permits and zoning call the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) 608-267-7694.

Please visit www.fema.gov/hazard/flood/info and click Flood Insurance, Maps, and Information.  Additional information recovery and the National Flood Insurance Program can be found by visiting www.floodsmart.gov.  For more information about recovery, please visit www.fema.gov, and www.sba.gov/services/disasterassistance.

FEMA coordinates the federal government's role in preparing for, preventing, mitigating the effects of, responding to, and recovering from all domestic disasters, whether natural or man-made, including acts of terror.

Last Updated: 
January 3, 2018 - 12:33