June 30, 2016

Updated Dare County flood maps are released


The North Carolina Flood Risk Information System released the first version of new coastal floodplain maps for Dare County today.
Our residents, property owners, and businesses can now see how their property is classified by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). The preliminary maps may be viewed online at http://fris.nc.gov/fris/.

Dare County has also provided a short video and other information on viewing and using the new maps, including frequently asked questions at www.darenc.com/floodmaps.

To determine whether the flood zone for your property has changed, you can check both the current, effective flood map and the new, preliminary map at the NC FRIS website listed above. Or if you live in or own property in unincorporated Dare County, you may contact the Dare County Planning Department at 252-475-5873 and planning staff will assist you with identification of the flood zone for your property.

If you live in or own property in the Town of Duck, Southern Shores, Kitty Hawk, Kill Devil Hills, Nags Head or Manteo, contact the planning department in your municipality for assistance identifying the flood zone for your property. 

Steve Garrett of the Flood Plain Mapping Program gave a preview of the process for releasing the new maps at the county Board of Commissioners meeting on June 20.

As was expected, Garrett's brief preview of the new maps confirmed that they will bring some much needed good news to many Dare County property owners.

"The good news is that a lot of properties are coming out of the flood zones," said Dare's planning director, Donna Creef.

Currently, she said, property in Dare County now falls into one of three categories --

  • VE -- which is high risk, as in oceanside locations
  • AE -- which is still water flooding, as in soundside locations
  • X -- in which no flood insurance is needed

Garrett said that unincorporated Dare County, which includes Hatteras Island, has had 1,800 structures in the high-risk VE category, and that number will be reduced to only 124. The county has had almost 13,000 structures in the AE zone, and that will come down to about 8,500. The others will move, perhaps into the X zone.

In addition, the county will see two new zones -- AH, which will apply to the area between the highways that floods in Kitty Hawk, and AO will apply to some areas that are subject to shallow flooding. The AO zone will include 893 structures countywide.

Typically, the map update process takes 18 to 24 months to complete once the preliminary maps are released. Certain procedures must be completed before the preliminary maps can be finalized -- this includes a 90-day appeal period for the maps and a six-month compliance period in which local governments must adopt the new maps and update their local flood damage prevention ordinances. There will also be community meetings on the new maps. The process is established by FEMA in cooperation with the N.C. Floodplain Mapping Program.

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