Pike County flood victims may have to elevate or raze structures due to laws
Thirty to 100 homes and buildings in Pike County’s Mississippi River flood plain could have to be elevated or torn down as a result of the Flood of 2013, according to Pike County Emergency Management Director Al Murry.
Murry said last week that most of the homes and buildings are in the unincorporated area of the county near Annada, but a few are on the river north of Louisiana. Homes and buildings inside city limits are dealt with by those jurisdictions, he said.
Murry told the Pike County Commissioners recently about the county and federal laws that demand the structure elevations or destructions.
Those laws say that if a home or building in a flood plain has more than 50 percent accumulative damage from flooding over a 10-year period, the property owner must elevate the structure or tear it down. The structures would have to be raised two feet above the Flood of 1993 benchmark.
Louisiana does not have a similar law, according to City Administrator Bob Jenne. Clarksville Mayor Jo Anne Smiley was not available for comment on the matter on Tuesday, May 7.
Many of the county structures were damaged in the Flood of 2008. Most of those buildings did not reach the 50-percent figure then but could now after the recent flooding, Murry said.
The 50-percent damage figure is based on the value of the home using a Federal Emergency Management Agency formula, Murry said.
Many of the homes remain underwater and may not be able to be investigated for two to three weeks, Murry said.
“We’re working with property owners, the federal government and insurance companies,” Murry said. “We’re trying to elevate as many as possible.”
Murry said residents need to know that any work done on a structure or earth moved in the county’s unincorporated flood plains requires a permit.
“It can be a home, pole barn, gazebo, road, or levee,” Murry said.
“The whole thing is we’re trying to minimize the impact of floods.”
Those possibly affected can call Murry at 573-324-2412.