Your Homeowners Insurance Does Not Cover Floods

The NFIP makes federally-backed flood insurance available in participating communities for all buildings, whether they are in a floodplain or not. Jersey County along with the following municipalities participates in the NFIP:

  • Grafton
  • Jerseyville
  • Elsah

Flood insurance covers direct loss caused by surface flooding which includes a river, stream, or lake overflowing its banks; and local drainage problems.

Structural Coverage includes walls, floors, insulation, furnace, and other items permanently attached to the structure

Contents Coverage may be purchased separately provided the contents are in an insurable building.

To report flood damage download the Flood Damage Form and submit via email to [email protected] or by mail to Jersey County Code Administrator, 200 N. Lafayette Suite 6, Jerseyville, IL 62052.

Effects of Non-Participation of NFIP

Illinois Emergency Management Agency – Public Assistance Forms

NFIP Technical Bulletin 1

Any direct federal or federally insured loans, grants, or mortgages for the purchase, construction, repair or improvement of buildings located in a special flood hazard area (SFHA), also known as the 100-year floodplain, require the purchase of flood insurance.  This applies for funding through:

  • Department of Veterans Affairs
  • Farm Credit Administration
  • Federal Housing Finance Board
  • Small Business Administration
  • Federal Emergency Management Agency
  • Lenders insured by federal agencies (such as FDIC)
  • Fannie Mae
  • Freddie Mac

If you are taking out a mortgage, refinancing a mortgage, or receiving a grant or loan for a building located in a special flood hazard area, the agency or lender is mandated by law to require you to purchase a flood insurance policy.  The policy must include structural coverage equal to the amount of the loan/financial assistance or the maximum amount available ($250,000 for a single family home), whichever is less.  This requirement does not apply to buildings that are not in the SFHA, even though a portion of the property may be flood prone.

Information on purchasing flood insurance is available from your insurance agent or at the National Flood Insurance Program website: http://www.fema.gov/national-flood-insurance-program.

There is a 30-day waiting period from the time a policy is purchased until coverage begins unless insurance is required in connection with a loan or mortgage.

Owners of property in unincorporated Jersey County are eligible for a 10%-25% flood insurance premium discount.  Tell your agent that Jersey County has a Community Rating System (CRS) rating of 5!

For more information call the Jersey County Code Administrator’s Office at 618-498-5571 ext. 146.

How to Buy Flood Insurance

Owning and Using Property in a Floodplain

Cottages that are leased on US Army Corps of Engineers ground must have an inspection by the Jersey County Floodplain Manager prior to selling the cottage or transferring a lease agreement. An Occupancy Permit will be issued if the structure passes the inspection. A fee of $25.00 is due at the time of inspection. The Occupancy Permit is to be placed in a window facing the roadway and a copy will be sent to the US Army Corps of Engineers.

Properties located in a determined floodplain and in a flood zone, that do not have a base flood elevation determined are required to obtain a Floodplain Permit prior to any development and defined below.

Jersey County Floodplain Ordinance

Jersey County Substantial Damage Plan

In order to make flood insurance and disaster assistance available to the citizens of unincorporated Jersey County, the county participates in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP).  A very important part of this participation is the adoption and enforcement of a floodplain ordinance.  The Jersey County Board adopted such an ordinance on June 10, 2003, which was most recently updated on November 9, 2021.  The floodplain ordinance regulates development in the 100-year floodplain.  The main purposes are:

  • To protect human life & health
  • To prevent increased flood or drainage hazards
  • To protect buildings from damage
  • To decrease taxpayer costs related to flood control projects, flood damage repairs, and rescue operations
  • To maintain property values
  • To make federal flood insurance available

IEPA Open Burning Regulations

State Law Regarding Illegal Dumping

A floodplain development permit is required for any development in a 100-year floodplain.

Definition of Development

  • Construction, reconstruction, placement or expansion of a building that exceeds 70 square feet or is valued at more than $1000
  • Substantial improvement: any repair, or improvement of a building the cost of which is 50% or greater than the market value of the building before work is started or before the building was damaged.
  • Placement of a mobile home or manufactured home
  • Placement of a travel trailer for more than 180 days
  • Installing utilities, construction of roads, or similar projects
  • Construction of levees, walls, fences, bridges, or culverts
  • Placement of fill
  • Excavating
  • Drilling, mining, dredging, or grading
  • Storage of materials including gas and liquid storage tanks
  • Stream or river channel modifications

Development Does Not Include:

  • Routine maintenance
  • Agricultural practices such as gardening or plowing

How To Apply For A Permit

Floodplain development permit applications are available from the Jersey County Code Administrator’s Office. Applications must include:

  • Description of project
  • Scale drawing of site
  • Existing and proposed ground elevations (fill/excavation) and/or lowest flood elevations (structure)
  • Engineer’s certificate & calculations (fill)
  • Permit or waiver from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources – Office of Water Resources
  • Refer to fee schedule

All new buildings/additions or substantially improved buildings must be elevated to three feet above the base flood elevations and require an elevation certificate upon completion. Inspections of the project will be arranged.

Floodplain Development Permit Application

Commercial Floodplain Development Application

There are some buildings that were constructed many years ago in Jersey County that are located in a floodplain.  Some options for protecting these buildings follow.  A floodplain development permit would be required prior to construction.

  • Elevation of the structure to at least two feet above the base flood elevation
  • Construction of barriers between the structure and flood waters
  • Dry floodproofing or wet floodproofing

Several informative documents on building protection can be found at the FEMA Library http://www.fema.gov/resource-document-library

For more information call the Jersey County Code Office at 618-498-5571 ext. 146 or email [email protected]

The Local Flood Hazard

Jersey County is bordered on two sides by the Illinois and Mississippi Rivers as well as having several minor contributory creeks, the Macoupin Creek, Piasa Creek, and Otter Creek.  While flooding from the Mississippi River and the Illinois River can USUALLY be forecast in advance, overbank flooding and flash flooding along the Macoupin, Piasa, and Otter Creeks can occur suddenly and unexpectedly.  Jersey County can flood in any season, but floods are most common during the spring and summer months.  The floods of 1972 and 1993 redefined the county’s high water flood mark.  To find out if your home is in a flood zone, you may contact the Jersey County Code Administrator’s Office at 618-498-5571 ext. 146 with an address for homes and businesses.  Elevation Certificates are also available.

Water heights for the Mississippi River and the Illinois River can be monitored at the following websites:

Half of all people who die in floods die from driving through flood waters.  Swift moving water may wash out a section of a roadway completely, making an area that looks a few inches deep, several feet deep.  A vehicle with a low stance becomes a leaky raft in just 1 foot of water.  Vehicles with large tires have a large air capacity (which causes flotation and reduces the friction that holds the tire to the road) and a larger side surface area for moving waters to push against.  This allows shallow, fast-moving water to push YOUR vehicle into deep, fast-moving WATERS!

More good common sense tips:

  • Do not walk through flood waters.  Currents can be deceptive.  Six inches of fast-moving water can knock you off of your feet.
  • Stay away from power lines and electrical wires.  Turn off the power to your home at the service box.  Electricity travels through water.  Electrocution is the number 2 killer during a flood.
  • Be alert of gas leaks.  Turn off the gas to your house before a flood.  If you smell gas, IMMEDIATELY contact your public utility, gas provider, or the Sheriff’s Department.  Do not use candles, lanterns, or open flames unless your gas is shut off.
  • Keep children away from flood waters, ditches, culverts, and storm drains.  Flood waters carry fluids from dead animals and human-produced sewage.  Even more importantly, every person ever sucked into a culvert of storm drain, EVERY SINGLE ONE died there.
  • Clean everything that has been wet.  As mentioned, flood water is contaminated and may cause severe health threats.
  • Watch for animals, especially snakes.  Small animals have been flooded out of their homes and may seek shelter in yours.
  • Never use gas engines such as generators, or make charcoal fires indoors.  Carbon Monoxide buildup puts you to sleep.  You don’t wake up. Ever.

If your property is susceptible to flooding, there are some things you can do to reduce damages.

  • Watertight seals can be applied to brick and block walls to protect against low-level flooding.  (less than 2 feet)
  • Furnaces, air conditioners, water heaters, and major appliances can be elevated on platforms or moved to higher floors.
  • Temporary measures like sandbagging and removing items from the flooded area.
  • Surprisingly, elevating or relocating the entire structure may be a feasible option with a very special rider on flood insurance policies.

Floodplains play a valuable role in providing natural and beneficial functions to Jersey County.  Floodplains that are left undisturbed provide a wide range of benefits to both human and natural systems.  The benefits provide aesthetic pleasure as well as function to provide active processes such as filtering nutrients and farm chemicals in run-off so that these areas and other wildlife can maintain bio-diversity and ecosystem sustainability.  Floodplains contain historic and archeological sites that provide opportunities for education and study, enhance waterfowl, fish, and other wildlife habitats and help provide feeding/breeding grounds, and lastly, floodplains provide natural erosion control and open space to reduce future flooding.

Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRMs) provide information to determine if a property is in a 100-year floodplain for regulatory purposes.  Updated maps were finalized by the Federal Emergency Management Agency on April 2, 2009.  Flood information on the Mississippi River and Illinois River, along with the Macoupin, Piasa, and Otter Creeks are provided.  Copies of the maps can be reviewed and assistance in interpreting them is available at the Jersey County Code Office (200 N. Lafayette).  Participating communities also have copies.  The boundaries of the 100-year floodplain are indicated on these maps by a gray area designated as zone A or, if a base flood elevation is available, as zone AE.  White areas are not in a 100-year floodplain and are labeled zone X.

A property can be generally located on the Flood Insurance Rate Map by creating a Firmette at the FEMA webpage https://msc.fema.gov/portal

Urban and small stream advisory or a flash flood watch:  issued when heavy rains which could inundate streams or roadways are predicted.  Flash floods can be very dangerous, occurring when water accumulates so rapidly that it cannot be absorbed by the ground or accommodated by storm sewers.  Flood waters can move rapidly carrying away anything in its path and can create deep areas of standing water.  During a flash flood watch residents should stay aware of the weather and take necessary precautions if conditions worsen.

Flash flood warning: issued when a flash flood is occurring.  In addition to the information provided during a flash flood watch, areas of greatest hazard are identified.  During periods of a warning, areas subject to flooding should be evacuated and avoided.

Flood warning:  issued for the Mississippi River and Illinois River when heavy rains occurring in the Otter Creek, Macoupin, and Piasa Creeks will cause local flooding.

Watches and Warnings are sent to radio and television stations by the National Weather Service located in Jersey County:

Local Radio Stations

WJBM 1480 AM

KMOX 1120 AM

NOAA Weather Radio – KX170 162.450 kHz


Local Television Stations 

KTVI Channel 2

KMOX Channel 4

KSDK Channel 5

KDNL Channel 30


8AM – 4PM M–F

Phone: (618) 498-5571 x146

Cell: (618) 535-0909

FAX: (618) 498-2375

EMAIL: codeadmin1

200 North Lafayette, Ste 6
Jerseyville, IL 62052