• Flood Hazard Information

Flood Hazard Information

Flood – A general and temporary condition of partial or complete inundation of two or more acres of normally dry land area or of two or more properties (at least one of which is the policyholder’s property) from one of the following:

  • Overflow of inland or tidal waters
  • Unusual and rapid accumulation or runoff of surface waters from any source
  • Mudflow
  • Collapse or subsidence of land along the shore of a lake or similar body of water as a result of erosion or undermining caused by waves or currents of water exceeding anticipated cyclical levels that result in a flood as defined above

Congress established the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) to address both the need for flood insurance and the need to lessen the devastating consequences of flooding. The goals of the program are twofold: to protect communities from potential flood damage through floodplain management, and to provide people with flood insurance.

For decades, the NFIP has been offering flood insurance to homeowners, renters and business owners, with the one condition that their communities adopt and enforce measures to help reduce the consequences of flooding. The Town of Louisburg has enacted the Louisburg Flood Hazard Ordinance to regulate activities in the fllod zone. These regulations are based on models provided by the State of North Carolina and the Federal Government and are mandated in order for property owners to purchase flood insurance in Louisburg.

The Town of Louisburg, situated along the Tar River, has been a participant in the NFIP for many years. The NFIP provides a safety neet for those who have property prone or subject to flood waters. The Town is required to adopt and enforce specific regulations regarding development within established flood areas. These regualtions include requirements that structures in flood areas must be constructed with a lowest finished floor elevation of at least one foot above the base flood elevation (BFE) as established by hydrographic analysis of all flooding areas in Town. Flood maps have been generated by the State of North Carolina which delineate the boundaries of expectyed flooding in the event of certain statistical rainfall amounts. These levels are referred to as the “100 year” flood. This description actually translates into a rainfall amount that has a 1% likelyhood of ocurring each year. The percentage description began wide reference after NC experienced 2 “100 year” floods within 3 years – those being remnants of hurricanes Fran and Floyd.

Flood Area Permits

Whenever a property owner in Louisburg applies for a zoning permit to undertake development activities, Town staff reviews the application to determine if the property is in a flood area.

Owners wishing to construct on property which is also located within a flood area must meet comply with additional permitting requirements. A surveyor must certify that the lowest finished floor of the structure is at least one foot above the established base flood elevation on the property. This proof is called an “elevation certificate”. This assumes that in the event of an anticipated flood the house will be at least one foot higher than the closest flood waters. Builders may choose to build a flood proof structure which incorporates a number of engineering and material elements to significantly diminish the amount of damage sustained by the structure in the event of flooding. Flood Hazard Permit Application.

Areas located outside of zones which have established BFE’s are also restricted from building within certain proximity to streams or other waterways. North Carolina Flood Maps may be reviewed here: NC Flood Map Data.

 

Please contact the Louisburg Town Hall should you have any questions about building in flood areas or if you wish to review the current flood hazard area maps for Louisburg.

 

Helpful Links:
• National Flood Insurance Program
• Louisburg Flood Hazard Ordinance Permit/Application
• NC Flood Map Data

Prominent Historical Places and Persons of Louisburg

Flood Terms

  • Base Flood – The flood having a 1% chance of being equaled or exceeded in any given year.
  • Base Flood Elevation (BFE) – The elevation shown on the Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM) for Zones AE, AH, A1-A30, AR, AR/A, AR/AE, AR/A1-A30, AR/AH, AR/AO, V1-V30, and VE that indicates the water surface elevation resulting from a flood that has a 1% chance of equaling or exceeding that level in any given year.
  • Elevation Certificate – A certificate that verifies the elevation data of a structure on a given property relative to the ground level. The Elevation Certificate is used by local communities and builders to ensure compliance with local floodplain management ordinances and is also used by insurance agents and companies in the rating of flood insurance policies.
  • Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM) – Official map of a community on which the Mitigation Division Administrator has delineated both the special hazard areas and the risk premium zones applicable to the community.
  • Flood Zone (Zone) – A geographical area shown on a Flood Hazard Boundary Map or a Flood Insurance Rate Map that reflects the severity or type of flooding in the area.
  • Floodplain – Any land area susceptible to being inundated by floodwaters from any source.
  • Floodplain Management – The operation of an overall program of corrective and preventive measures for reducing flood damage, including but not limited to, emergency preparedness plans, flood control works, and floodplain management regulations.
  • Floodway – An area of flood inundation where the velocity and volume of flood waters are especially dangerous and damaging and in which catastrophic structural damage has a greatly likelihood to occur during a flooding event.
  • National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) – A federal program enabling property owners in participating communities to purchase insurance protection against losses from flooding. This insurance is designed to provide an insurance alternative to disaster assistance to meet the escalating costs of repairing damage to buildings and their contents caused by floods.
  • Non-Special Flood Hazard Area (NSFHA) – An area in a low to moderate risk flood zone (Zones B, C, X) that is not in any immediate danger from flooding caused by overflowing rivers or hard rains. However, it’s important to note that structures within a NSFHA are still at risk.
  • Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA) – A FEMA-identified high-risk flood area where flood insurance is mandatory for properties. An area having special flood, mudflow, or flood-related erosion hazards, and shown on a Flood Hazard Boundary Map or a Flood Insurance Rate Map as Zone A, AO, A1-A30, AE, A99, AH, AR, AR/A, AR/AE, AR/AH, AR/AO, AR/A1-A30, V1-V30, VE, or V.

Links:

Flood Zone Descriptions

Everyone lives in some type of flood zone. These are geographic areas that FEMA defines, based on studies of flood risk. The zone boundaries are shown on flood hazard maps, also called Flood Insurance Rate Maps. Below are brief definitions of the FEMA flood zones.

Low-To-Moderate Risk Zones

(Non-Special Flood Hazard Areas) In communities that participate in the NFIP, flood insurance is available to all property owners and renters with low-to-moderate risk of a major flood. A major flood is defined as a flood with a 1% annual chance of occurring.

Zones B, C, and X

  • Areas outside the 1% annual flood risk floodplain
  • Areas of 1% annual shallow flooding risk where average depths are less than 1 foot
  • Areas of 1% annual stream flooding risk where the contributing drainage area is less than 1 square mile
  • Areas protected by levees from the 1% annual flood risk. Insurance purchase is not required in these zones

High Risk Zones

(Special Flood Hazard Areas) In communities that participate in the NFIP, all homeowners in Zone A (high-risk) areas are required to get flood insurance in order to get a loan from a federally regulated lender. These areas have a 26% chance of flooding over the life of a 30-year mortgage.

Zone A

Areas with a 1% annual flood risk and a 26% risk of flooding over the life of a 30-year mortgage. Because detailed analyses are not performed for such areas, no depths or base flood elevations are shown within these zones.

Zone AE and A1-A30

Areas subject to a 1% or greater annual chance of flooding in any given year. Base flood elevations are shown as derived from detailed analyses. (Zone AE is used on new and revised maps in place of Zones A1-A30).

Zone AH

Areas subject to a 1% or greater annual chance of shallow flooding in any given year. Flooding is usually in the form of ponding, with the average depths between one and three feet. Base flood elevations are shown as derived from detailed analyses

Zone AO

River or stream flood hazard areas, and areas with a 1% or greater annual shallow flooding risk, with flooding usually in the form of sheet flow with average depths between one and three feet. Average flood depths are shown as derived from detailed analyses.

Zone AR

Areas subject to a 1% or greater annual chance of flooding in any given year, which results from a temporary increased flood risk due to the building or restoration of a flood control system (such as a levee or a dam).

Zone A99

Areas subject to a 1% or greater annual chance of flooding in any given year, but which ultimately will be protected by completion of a flood protection system under construction. No base flood elevations or flood depths are shown.

Zone V

Coastal areas with a 1% or greater flood risk and an additional hazard associated with storm waves. Because no detailed analyses have been performed of these areas, no base flood elevations are shown.

Zone VE and V1-30

Coastal areas with a 1% or greater flood risk and an additional hazard associated with storm waves. Base flood elevations are shown as derived from detailed analyses. (Zone AE is used on new and revised maps in place of Zones A1-A30).

Undetermined Risk Zones

Zone D

In areas of possible but undetermined flood risk, flood insurance rates reflect the uncertainty of the flood risk.