Floods within St. Francois County have historically caused major problems for some residents.
St. Francois County is affected by two major rivers (St. Francis and Big River). Most of the County is affected by flooding from Big River, which drains the area from just North of Farmington to the Jefferson County line. The very Northeast portion of the County drains to the North and East towards the Mississippi River. The remainder of the County is drained to the South by the St. Francis River. There are several smaller rivers and/or creeks that also have caused flooding issues in the County. Some of these are Little St. Francis River, Doe Run Creek, Wolf Creek, Flat River, Owl Creek, Cabanne Course, Coonville Creek, Bee Creek, Blankshire Branch, Camp Creek, Koen Creek, Three Rivers Creek, Salem Creek, Terre Bleue Creek, Hazel Run along with several other creeks. All these creeks have caused flooding at various times in the past.
To address the flooding problems in the Cities and Counties across the United States in 1968, the Federal Government began a program of making flood insurance available. To take advantage of this program, St. Francois County entered into an agreement on August 14, 1984, with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to provide flood insurance for our residents. The cost of this insurance varies depending upon the location within the County of the property to be insured. If the property is located within an area designated as a regulated floodplain area, the cost will be higher than property located outside the floodplain. This insurance is available from local insurance companies and is backed by the Federal Government. The County is required by the agreement with FEMA, to regulate building within the floodplain locations so that all new construction is elevated at least one (1) foot above the Base Flood Elevation (BFE)(this BFE is the flood elevation that is expected to occur 1% of the time each year—this is also generally considered to be the 100 year flood), to ensure that the property is protected from flooding damage. The BFE is determined by maps of the County (called Floodplain Maps) that show the areas within the County that is subject to flooding. These maps will show the expected flooding elevations at some locations and at others they show shaded areas of where flooding is expected without exact elevations shown.
To find out if a property is within a regulated flood Zone, the resident can come into the County Court House Annex at 1 W. Liberty Street, Farmington, to view the Floodplain maps at the office of the Floodplain Manager in the County Commissioners Office, room 301.
All new development in the County is required to obtain a Building Permit prior to beginning work. This permit can be obtained from the County Clerk’s Office on the 3rd floor of the County Court Annex. The cost of this permit is $20.00. If the proposed development is located within a regulated floodplain area, a “Floodplain Development Permit/Application “must also be obtained and submitted for approval. This permit is also obtained from the County Clerk’s Office