Durham County Receives New Flood Insurance Rate Maps

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Preliminary copies of updated Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM) panels and the Flood Insurance Study (FIS) Report (both dated May 5, 2005) have been issued to Durham County and Incorporated Communities. The FIRM panels and FIS Report include the portion of the county located in the Cape Fear River Basin. A Preliminary Meeting for county and municipal officials and staff, and congressional and legislative members will take place on June 8, 2005, in the public library located in Durham. The residents of Durham County will have an opportunity to see the results of the advanced digital floodplain mapping technology used to create the new maps during the public meeting to be held in late June 2005.

The new maps were produced by the State of North Carolina under a unique partnership with the Federal Emergency Management Agency. This partnership, signed September 2000, designates North Carolina as a Cooperating Technical State and delegates the primary responsibility for the creation and maintenance of all FIRMs to the State of North Carolina. The remapping of all floodplains for Durham County is the result of the devastation caused by Hurricane Floyd, which flooded thousands of square miles of eastern North Carolina and left thousands of people homeless. This disaster highlighted North Carolina's vulnerability to natural disasters and the need for accurate, up-to-date floodplain maps.

Representatives from the North Carolina Floodplain Mapping Program will meet with officials from Durham County to give them an overview of the process used to create the maps, an explanation of the values and benefits of the new maps, and information regarding the North Carolina Floodplain Mapping Information System that will allow local officials and the general public to access the new maps online via a website maintained by the North Carolina Floodplain Mapping Program. They will also go over descriptions of new map features, a detailed summary of map changes, how to use the new maps, and information on flood insurance implications, the map adoption process, and recommendations for safer floodplain development standards.

The Appeal Period open for commenting on the preliminary FIRM panels and FIS Report will last from May 19, 2005 through August 31, 2005 for the Cape Fear River Basin portion of Durham County and Incorporated Communities.