Emergency management director: Building houses in flood plain without permit is risky

Published 12:10 am Sunday, April 9, 2017


NATCHEZ — Adams County’s emergency management director says residents are putting their property at risk by building in the flood plain without a permit.

Emergency Management Director Robert Bradford told supervisors Monday that while five to six permits for construction in flood plains are processed each year, many residents building houses in flood zones do not bother to call.

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“If you go on your own with no permit and there is damage, you won’t be able to get insurance,” Bradford said. “The county won’t be liable for the damage.”

Bradford said he encouraged residents to call his office before building because he has a map of the flood zones in Adams County, and he could help residents understand the different standards in the areas of potential flooding.

“If a flood happens and they find the house wasn’t up to code, it can be hard to try and get money back for the disaster,” he said.

The permits are free, Bradford said.

The flood zones extend for miles along the Mississippi River and also along creeks and lakes. The areas impacting residents the most are Beau Pré, Anna’s Bottom and Lake Mary.

District 4 Supervisor Ricky Gray asked if there were any consequences to someone not getting a permit.

Board Attorney Scott Slover said the Adams County Sheriff’s Office could write a ticket for a misdemeanor. Bradford said the ticket could be up to $500.

Bradford said the ordinance also needs some minor language updates to standards, as the ordinance has not been revised since it was adopted in 1981.