Floodplain Management is the administration of a community program utilizing strategies and tools to prevent problems and protect people and development from flooding. The goal is to reduce the risk of current and future flooding, resulting in a more resilient community.
Communities that guide development following the standards of the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) have seen positive results. Communities that choose to participate in the NFIP are required to adopt and administer floodplain ordinances that manage development in the floodplain. Cass County is a participant along with many other communities within the County. County jurisdiction consists of those areas outside a township or municipality that already participates.
Am I in a FloodPlain
Knowing if a property is in the floodplain is critical to keeping you and your property safe. To determine if a property is in a floodplain, Flood Insurance Rate Maps or FIRMs are typically available from your community to review to determine a property's relation to the adopted floodplain. Contact your community or the County Planner for further information.
Developing in a Floodplain
If it is determined that your property is located in a Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA) you will likely be required to obtain an Elevation Certificate in order to build. The Elevation Certificate is prepared and may be kept on file by the registered engineer, land surveyor, or architect. If is is determined that your structure is above the Base Flood Elevation (BFE) or above the "100 year floodplain", you may consider requesting FEMA to remove your structure from the SFHA through a Letter of Map Revision (LOMR) or Letter of Map Amendment (LOMA).
The Cass County Flood Damage Prevention Ordinance authorizes the County Engineer and his designees to grant and deny development permit applications in accordance with its provisions. Before building, contact the County Planner to inquire about obtaining a development permit. If the property to be developed is within city limits or the extraterritorial boundary of a city you should contact that city directly. If the property to be developed is within a participating township you should contact that township directly.
City Floodplain Administrators
Your mortgage company will likely inform you if you are required to purchase flood insurance and your insurance agent is trained to provide you with information you need to know about flood insurance coverage. It is recommended that you contact your insurance agent for more information on flood insurance regardless of where your property lies in Cass County. The following links provide additional information about the NFIP, FIRMs, Elevation Certificates, and LOMRs/LOMAs.
For information on preparing for and coping with flooding in Cass County visit our Flood Risk Reduction Site.