CTS Committee Holds Fourth Meeting

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The State of North Carolina's Cooperating Technical State (CTS) Committee held its fourth meeting on January 16, 2001.

Status updates indicated progress on a number of topics, including contract/Delivery Order (DO) negotiations, basin plans/flood data DOs and LIDAR DO and QA/QC. In addition, it was reported that initial scoping meetings had been held individually with more than 250 communities. A report was given on the GIS Data Availability Survey, which was mailed to counties and municipalities in the 6 eastern river basins. The results of the survey indicate that there are many data producers and all agree to share data for flood mapping.

Program Director John Dorman reported that from January 8 - 11, 2001, FEMA and State staff met in Washington, D.C., with Federal agencies to discuss funding and mapping activities. They also briefed North Carolina Congressional staff on the progress of the mapping program.

Tim McCormick (Dewberry) provided a demonstration of the GIS-Enabled Scoping Tool developed for the project. The centralized database enables the user to visualize data and recommendations for multiple communities and flooding sources, assists in scoping out mapping activities on a basin-wide basis, and provides immediate access to flood map data during community scooping meetings.

DO negotiations for the Information Management System have been finalized, and work began the week of January 8, 2001. The major tasks are a requirements analysis, preliminary system design, and work plan for implementation.

Jerry Sparks (Dewberry) reported that NCFloodmaps.com would go "live" on January 19, 2001. This public Web site provides a description of the Floodplain Mapping Program, news about the program, status and progress reports, public documents, and links to other important Web sites.

Future Conditions, Post-Flood Hazard Verification, and Coastal Working Groups are being organized. These groups reported on their activities to date.

The Committee discussed developing a process for resolving conflicts that may arise if communities disagree with the mapping needs identified by the State and FEMA. The proposed process is that all needs will be ranked and scored using "Selecting Technical Methods and Assigning Scores" procedures, and, if ranked high enough, will be included in the Draft Basin Plan. Communities will have the opportunity to provide input at the Final Scoping Meeting, and technical justification will be required for removing a need from the Basin Plan.

The Committee also discussed Zone A areas on the Flood Insurance Rate Maps. These areas do not show Base (1% annual chance) Flood Elevations (BFEs), and are typically not based on computations. The Zone A areas for the State's program will be based on hydrologic and hydraulic analyses; however, the analyses will be less detailed than with a full detailed study. These computed BFEs will be useful for floodplain management, and they can also be used to rate flood insurance policies.

The next CTS Committee Meeting is scheduled for February 13, 2001.