Draft Neuse River Basin Plan Presented at Final Scoping Meetings

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View the North Carolina Neuse River Basin Plan Presentation in PowerPoint format.

Final Scoping Meetings to present the Draft Neuse River Basin Plan were held on April 23, 2001, in Raleigh, North Carolina; on April 24, 2001, in Goldsboro, North Carolina; and on April 25, 2001, in New Bern, North Carolina. All impacted counties and communities were invited and were provided a final opportunity for input. The Draft Neuse River Basin Plan summarizes the scoping phase, outlines how the base maps and topography will be acquired, proposes engineering methods by which each flooding source reach will be studied, and describes the process and schedule for completing the map production.

During the scoping phase, the North Carolina Division of Emergency Management (NCDEM) worked closely with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and FEMA's Mapping Coordination Contractor, Dewberry (FEMA-MCC/Dewberry). Stated simply, "scoping" is determining what areas are floodprone and need to have flood hazard data developed, what methods will be used to generate that hazard data, and how the data will be presented on the Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRMs). For the Neuse River Basin, the comprehensive scoping phase entailed:

  • Researching and inventorying available elevation, flood hazard, and digital base map data that may be useful for preparing updated digital FIRMs;
  • Assessing existing flood hazard data (for example, flood elevation profiles, floodplain boundaries, floodways, coastal hazard zones) on effective FIRMs for adequacy;
  • Outreach to, and input from, counties and communities regarding their needs for updated FIRMs;
  • Identifying data that need to be developed or acquired, such as digital base maps, Digital Elevation Models, or field surveys of stream channels, hydraulic structures, and coastal transects;
  • Determining the proposed scales and paneling scheme for countywide digital FIRM production; and
  • Developing a schedule for completion of updated flood hazard data and digital FIRM production.

For flooding sources within the basin, the flood hazard data from effective FIRMs were assessed for adequacy in consultation with the impacted counties and communities. For areas where the existing flood hazard data were deemed to be inadequate or outdated, a priority level was established and the most appropriate method of developing updated data was selected based on the:

  • Type and extent of manmade and natural changes within the floodplain and/or watershed;
  • Quality of data available; and
  • Existing and/or proposed levels of development affected by the flooding source.

To begin the scoping process, the State held a central "kickoff" meeting with county and local floodplain administrators on August 31, 2000, in Raleigh. The objective of this meeting was to overview the State's Cooperating Technical State Agreement with FEMA and the new Statewide Flood Mapping Program, inform the floodplain administrators of the process that would be followed to develop updated mapping, and encourage them to be active participants in the process. A questionnaire regarding the communities' mapping needs was distributed at the meeting to those community representatives in attendance.

The results of the responses to the community questionnaires and the State's initial research were entered into a GIS-enabled scoping database. This database was used to generate "Initial Scoping Packages" for each community. These packages were used to conduct the Initial Scoping Meetings, which the State held in each county in the Neuse River Basin. At the Initial Scoping Meetings, NCDEM, FEMA, and the FEMA-MCC/Dewberry met individually, or in groups, with the county and its incorporated communities' representatives to:

  • Provide a brief overview of the State's Flood Mapping Program;
  • Review the research results for their community using the Initial Scoping Package;
  • Discuss the community's mapping needs and response to the questionnaire; and
  • Identify available local data such as base maps, topographic data, ongoing studies, etc.

In assessing the communities' flood mapping needs, emphasis was placed on:

  • Areas of future development;
  • New or proposed crossings, encroachments, and flood control structures;
  • Historically flooded areas;
  • Out-of-date or inadequate data on current FIRMs;
  • Existing data mismatches with contiguous communities; and
  • Out-of-date FEMA analyses (detailed or approximate).

For flooding sources identified in the meeting as having a flood mapping need, the community was asked to provide input on proposed study priorities and analysis methods.

The State synthesized its research and the county and community input. The results were used to develop the Draft Basin Plan for developing updated flood hazard data for the basin and for producing countywide digital FIRMs for the affected counties and communities within the Neuse River Basin.

Following the Final Scoping Meetings (held April 23, 24, and 25, 2001, as discussed above), the Draft Basin Plan will be revised, as necessary, to produce a Final Basin Plan. The Final Basin Plan will contain specific information regarding comments that were received and how the Draft Basin Plan was revised and why. Then the State's Floodplain Mapping Contractor, Watershed Concepts, will develop a technical and cost proposal to execute the components of the revised Draft Neuse River Basin Plan. The Neuse River Basin Plan will be finalized and distributed to impacted counties and communities, and the production phase will begin.

The Neuse River Basin originates in the north central Piedmont region of North Carolina in Person and Orange Counties, extends southeast through the Coastal Plain region, and eventually flows into Pamlico Sound. It is the third largest river basin in North Carolina, encompassing an area of approximately 6,2000 square miles. The Neuse River Basin is comprised of all or parts of 23 counties and 78 municipalities.