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Cape County Floodplain Management

Cape Girardeau County and the NFIP

Cape Girardeau County participates in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) in order for home and property owners to be able to purchase flood insurance.  The NFIP requires communities to: adopt floodplain ordinances, maintain records of floodplain development, and maintain the community’s Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM).  The Flood Disaster Protection Act of 1973 added a key requirement to the NFIP: if a community participates in the program, flood insurance is a prerequisite for receiving money from a federal agency or a federally-support financial program. Federal insurance lending institutions will have floodplain determinations performed on a burrower’s property.  This is to determine if flood insurance is required.  The lending institution may require flood insurance even if the property is not in the floodplain but it will be at a lower premium. 

Cape Girardeau County Floodplain Management Area

The county is responsible for floodplain management in the unincorporated areas of the county.  The incorporated communities in the county are: Allenville, Cape Girardeau, Delta, Dutchtown, Gordonville, Jackson, Oak Ridge, Old Appleton, Pocahontas and Whitewater.


DFIRMs ( Digital Flood Insurance Rate Maps)

In April, 2011 the Cape Girardeau County Commission approved County Ordinances 11-01 for floodplain management of the unincorporated areas of the county.   The DFIRMs are now the official Flood Insurance Rate Maps for the county.  The maps may be view by entering the FEMA Map Service Website. 


FEMA Map Service

Information and Forms:

Cape Girardeau County Floodplain Management Ordinance (updated for Federal Insurance Administrator's FIS September 29, 2011)

Floodplain Development Permit.pdf

Cape Girardeau Co Insurance Report.pdf

Floodplain Study

CAV Community Summary Report

Cape Girardeau Co Floodplain Brochure


The county floodplain ordiances are in Adobe Acrobat format. To view them, make sure you have Acrobat Reader installed. You may download it here.

Factoid: Many people don’t understand just how risky the floodplain can be.  There is a 26% change that a non-elevated home in the floodplain will be damaged during a 30-year mortgage period.  The chance that a major fire will occur during the same period is only 1%. 



Why a 100-year flood event happens more than once in every hundred years?  Whether it was intended or not, labeling floods and storms as either a 10 or 100, or 500 year event has misled people into thinking that size flood event occurs once every 10 or 100 or 500 year time period.  This is wrong. A more accurate way of thinking of these events is that they have a 1-in-10 or 1-in-100 or 1-in-500 chance happening every year.

For a 100 year flood event imagine this. Once a year we blindly reach into a bin of 100 balls; 99 are white and 1 is black.  You pull out a white ball.  No chance of a flood event that big this year.  Now we put the ball back in the bin and mixed them up. Next year, you reach in and you pull out a black ball; remember there is only one black ball.  This means we are going to have a flood that gets to a certain elevation this year.  Again, we put the ball back in the bin and draw next year. In theory, we can pull that black ball out several years in a row.  The higher the flood elevation, the smaller the chance of that size flood event happening.  A 500 year flood is a 1-in-500 (.2%) chance of that event occurring.   This is a statistical method of calculating one of nature’s most destructive events.   We all know that nature is a powerful force.


To contact the Cape Girardeau County Floodplain Manager:

Phone: (573) 204-2512

Or by mail:

Cape Girardeau Co. Floodplain Department

 #1 Barton Square

Jackson, MO 63755

Site last update: 11/9/2011

 Click Here To Email the Floodplain Manager


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