Repairing and Rebuilding After a Flood

Re-enter your building carefully or ask the Community Development Department at 360.740.2696 for a complimentary safety check before you go in.

Check with the Community Development Department at 360.740.2696 before you start repairs. A building permit is required for removing, altering or replacing the roof, walls, siding, wallboard, plaster, insulation, paneling, cabinets, flooring, electrical system, plumbing, heating or air conditioning.

You may proceed with the following emergency repairs without a permit:

  • Removing and disposing of damaged contents, carpeting, wallboard, insulation, etc.
  • Hosing, scrubbing or cleaning floors, walls, ductwork, etc.
  • Covering holes in roofs or walls and covering windows to prevent weather from inflicting further damage.
  • Making the building safe to enter by removing sagging ceilings, shoring up broken foundations, and other actions.

As soon as possible, contact your insurance agent about making a claim. There’s a step by step process for a flood insurance claim here.

For ideas on cleaning after a flood, see After the Flood The Clean Up Process or Flood "Cleaning Up"

Want to reduce damage from the next flood?

  • Talk to the Community Development Department at 360.740.2696 about flood protection measures you can do as part of your repairs.
  • There may be financial assistance for major projects like elevating the building above the flood level. Call the Community Development Department about funding help for protecting your house or business from flood damage. Some of these sources of assistance are pre-disaster grants from FEMA and some are grants available after a disaster declaration.
  • If you have a flood insurance policy and your building is substantially damaged, you could receive an additional claim payment to help cover the cost of meeting the rebuilding requirements.
  • Louisiana State University has ideas for “rebuilding safer, stronger, smarter” so your building will be better protected from the next flood. See Safer, Stronger, Smarter.

A building is substantially damaged when the cost to repair exceeds 50% of the building’s pre-damage value.

  • Substantially damaged buildings will have to be elevated or otherwise brought into compliance with the codes for new buildings.
  • Therefore, if the Community Development staff think your building may be substantially damaged, you should not make major repairs (unless the building presents a safety hazard) until you find out the final disposition.