Town of Southern Shores
Floodplain Management Plan
2016 Annual Progress Report
Floodplain Management Plan
The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) provides federally backed flood insurance; however, to be covered by flood insurance, a community must adopt and enforce a floodplain management ordinance to regulate development in flood hazard areas to ensure that such development will not aggravate flooding conditions and that new buildings will be protected from flood damage.
As part of the NFIP, the Community Rating System (CRS) encourages communities to do more than meet the minimum requirements set forth by the flood program. The incentive is to adjust (discount) flood insurance premiums. Southern Shores continues to do over and above the minimum and is currently a seven (7) class CRS rating therefore, receives a 15% discount on policies issued for properties in special flood hazard areas (SFHA’s).
The Southern Shores Floodplain Management Plan was developed in order to limit life and property losses due to major flood. The town experiences hurricanes, tropical storms, and winter storms (nor’easters). Nor’easters are less intense than hurricanes but occur more frequently and cover larger areas. Storms that progress up the Pamlico, Albemarle and Currituck sounds may create a storm surge that floods most canal front portions of Southern Shores.
Besides flood damage to structures, ocean water breaching the dune system has the potential of flooding NC Hwy 12 (Ocean Boulevard and Duck Road), impeding traffic and preventing residents and visitors from using the Hwy for egress. Damage to the dune system will require repairing and rebuilding at a significant cost.
Southern Shores has elected to implement specific activities and procedures and receives CRS credits for them. The following is a progress report on those current activities and procedures:
- Keeping residents informed of the potential for flooding that the town could experience from storms and heavy rainfalls is accomplished with outreach mailings and by including articles in the town newsletter and on the website. Emergency procedures and information is distributed by the Dare County Emergency Management Department on the County website and local government cable channel.
- Through the town’s mailings and public service announcements, homeowners are encouraged to purchase flood insurance. A Community Outreach Project – Flood Brochure, which includes various flood data, was mailed in June 2015 to property owners within a SFHA. The town currently has zero (0) repetitive loss properties which is considered a favorable status with FEMA and CRS.
- Southern Shores continues to require elevation certificates for all new development, substantially improved structures and applicable remodel and/or additions to structures located within a SFHA. The certificates are required during different levels of construction to ensure that the structure is elevated out of the floodplain and meets all NFIP requirements. In addition, that information is retained in a hard copy and digital format that is submitted along with the annual CRS recertification report.
- Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRMs) information is available upon request. FIRMs are displayed at Town Hall – current maps, as well as previous maps. Also available are flood determination letters and assistance to homeowners who disagree with their particular map determination and wish to apply for a map amendment.
- The Planning and Code Enforcement Department maintains a thorough library which includes: maps, brochures, flood proofing, retrofitting, flood insurance requirements, and other flood/emergency preparedness resource materials. Dare County Libraries also continue to maintain flood protection materials for the public’s view.
- A large map of the town is displayed in the Planning and Code Enforcement Department at Town Hall. The map includes an overlay of the flood zones, street names, property addresses and waterways (ocean-sound-pond-canals). The map has been especially helpful in explaining NFIP and CAMA regulations, the flood zones, zoning and building requirements, and the town’s flood damage prevention ordinance, particularly the two (2) foot freeboard above the FIRM base flood elevation (BFE) determination. The elevation of structures above the minimum base flood elevation results in lower flood insurance premiums for stakeholders within the town.
- The town continues to regulate and monitor all development regardless of the location of the flood zone as it relates to specific properties. The Planning and Code Enforcement Department is responsible for zoning enforcement, local permitting for CAMA, plan reviews for residential and commercial development.
- Additionally, the Floodplain Administrator is responsible to enforce the town’s Flood Damage Prevention Ordinance with the following purpose and objectives.
Promote public health, safety, and general welfare and to minimize public and private losses due to flood conditions within floodprone areas by provisions designed to:
Restrict or prohibit uses that are dangerous to health, safety, and property due to water or erosion hazards or that result in damaging increases in erosion, flood heights or velocities;
Require that uses vulnerable to floods, including facilities that serve such uses, be protected against flood damage at the time of initial construction;
Control the alteration of natural floodplains, stream channels, and natural protective barriers, which are involved in the accommodation of floodwaters;
Control filling, grading, dredging, and all other development that may increase erosion or flood damage; and
Prevent or regulate the construction of flood barriers that will unnaturally divert floodwaters or which may increase flood hazards to other lands.
Protect human life and health;
Minimize expenditure of public money for costly flood control projects;
Minimize the need for rescue and relief efforts associated with flooding and generally undertaken at the expense of the general public;
Minimize prolonged business losses and interruptions;
Minimize damage to public facilities and utilities (i.e., water and gas mains, electric, telephone, cable and sewer lines, streets, and bridges) that are located in floodprone areas;
Help maintain a stable tax base by providing for the sound use and development of floodprone areas; and
Ensure that potential buyers are aware that property is in a special flood hazard area.