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