Update on Preliminary Flood Maps - January 18, 2017

At the Dare County Commissioners' January 17 meeting, Planning Director Donna Creef provided updated information regarding the preliminary flood maps for Dare County that were released June 30 of last year.  Flood maps, known officially as Flood Insurance Rate Maps or FIRMs, show areas of high and moderate to low flood risk. Communities use the maps to set minimum building requirements, lenders use them to determine flood insurance requirements, and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) uses them to help determine what homeowners  should pay for flood insurance.  High-risk zones, also known as Special Flood Hazard Areas, begin with the letters “A” or “V.” Moderate- to low-risk zones, known as Non-Special Flood Hazard Areas (NSFHAs), begin with the letters “X”, “B” or “C.”

Creef said that the new maps show significant changes with large numbers of properties removed from high risk zones and cautioned that “low risk does not mean no risk.”  She explained that while the preliminary maps, if adopted, could result in flood insurance savings for many property owners, there are potential consequences that need to be considered - failure of citizens to realize flood risks for their home, lower base flood elevations resulting in structures not elevated high enough to avoid flooding, conversion of ground floor enclosures to living areas making them vulnerable to flood risk, and property owners discontinuing their flood insurance coverage.

Creef outlined the map adoption process and said the state anticipates the 90 day appeal period to begin sometime in late March to mid April. She spoke of possible measures and suggested action items to address concerns and keep citizens informed. She will report back to the Board on progress of the map process and the action items that were approved by the Board.

To watch the full presentation from Ms. Creef, visit Agendas, Minutes & Videos and click on the video of the January 17 meeting, Item 4.

Area residents, property owners and businesses can see how their property is classified by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) on the recently released preliminary coastal floodplain maps for Dare County.  The preliminary maps may be viewed online at  http://fris.nc.gov/fris/ . See video below for information about how to access the information via the website. 

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.  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.

  • Town of Duck - 252.255.1234
  • Southern Shores - 252.261.2394
  • Kitty Hawk - 252.261.3552
  • Kill Devil Hills - 252.449.5318
  • Nags Head - 252.441.7016
  • Manteo - 252.473.2133



FRIS Preliminary Coastal Floodplain Maps for Dare County