Prepare for emergencies! Orange County Emergency Services urges residents and employees in Orange County to register for OC Alerts. Check www.ready.gov for preparedness measures that you and your family can take before disaster strikes!
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) administers the National Flood Insurance Program and works with state and community partners to create flood hazard maps. If you believe floodzone locations or data are in error, you may request an amendment to or revision of the Flood Insurance Rate Map by applying for a Letter of Map Change (LOMA, LOMR, etc.). Stormwater staff can help walk you through the process.
To view paper floodplain maps for Chapel Hill, please make an appointment to visit the Stormwater Management Program office at 208 N. Columbia Street. We will be happy to review the area of interest to you. Town staff cannot make an official flood determination for a property, but can help property owners and real estate agents see where properties and the floodplain intersect. Maps are estimates, and only a professional elevation survey can confirm the property’s risk.
Homeowner insurance policies do not cover property damage, loss, or clean up costs resulting from flooding. The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) is the sole provider of policies to repair damage to buildings (structures) and to compensate owners and renters for loss of contents (personal property) caused by floods. It's important to know that if you have a federally backed mortgage on a home located in a high-risk area, federal law requires you to purchase flood insurance. For voluntary policies, there is a 30-day waiting period from the time a new insurance policy is purchased to when it actually goes into effect.
If a structure in the floodplain is elevated above the base flood elevation, it may qualify for reduced flood insurance rates. A professional land surveyor should be hired to complete an elevation certificate for homeowners to submit to their insurance company. Floodproofing a structure can be used as an alternative to elevating it for flood insurance purposes, but requires a floodproofing certificate.
To make flood insurance available to residents, towns and cities must adopt and enforce a Flood Damage Prevention Ordinance (Code of Ordinances- Chapter 5, Article IV) . Buildings constructed in compliance with NFIP building standards suffer much less damage than those not built to such standards, and can be insured at lower rates. Chapel Hill requires finished floor elevation to be at least two feet above the base flood elevation, which may help owners reduce their rates.
How much water is flowing through our streams? Check out the USGS stream flow gages on:
Have some spare time and want to learn how stream gages work? Learn more here.
The Town of Chapel Hill’s Hazard Mitigation Plan identifies potential local hazards and actions necessary to reduce property damage and personal injury in the cases of natural or man-made disasters such as floods, tornadoes, and ice storms. The plan is a requirement for town eligibility to receive state and federal funds for mitigation projects and post-disaster clean up and relief. This plan requirement places importance on the evaluation of potential risks and implementation of measures to prevent or minimize impacts from potentially disastrous events.
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