New county floodplain maps released with preliminary revisions

Published 12:01 am Friday, May 12, 2023

SALISBURY — It will be worthwhile for homeowners to check out recent revisions to maps to see if their property has been placed in or removed from a floodplain and the potential consequences of the changes.

Revised preliminary flood insurance rate maps for portions of Rowan County are now available for review after being released by the North Carolina Floodplain Mapping Program, with assistance of the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

The revisions include changes to flood hazard information for streams and also include changes to floodplain boundaries, base flood elevations, established floodways and other flood risk information. If your property has either been placed within or removed from the floodplain areas, it could affect property values and insurance costs.

The areas displayed on the map have red squares around them and are where revisions are taking place. China Grove, East Spencer, Spencer, Faith, Granite Quarry and Rockwell are where most of the revisions are occurring in the county, but not every stream will be changing. Cleveland will not have any revisions under the maps.

“This is sort of the area to pay attention to. Not every stream in those revised panels will be changing, only certain ones. Look at your property and then compare the two from current to proposed and then they can call us,” said Shane Stewart, assistant planning director of the Rowan County planning and zoning department.

“Floods are among the most frequent and costly natural disasters in terms of human hardship and economic loss. North Carolina’s Digital Flood Insurance Rate Maps (DFIRM) enable business leaders and residents to more accurately predict flood hazards and prepare for flood risks,” according to the N.C. Flood Risk Information System website. Residents are encouraged to be familiar with the risk associated with their property to be prepared in case of flooding.

Community officials have been given notice by the state and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) about the changes and a public meeting will take place with residents invited to view the maps and ask questions about the revisions. That meeting will likely be over the summer or in early fall, according to officials at the planning and zoning department. After the public meeting, the maps will be officially adopted. 

It is essential for states and communities to know existing floodplain maps and pending changes to note where high-risk flood areas are so local governments, businesses and residents can plan for protection and get flood insurance.

For a town to purchase federal insurance through the National Flood Insurance Program, it must participate in the program. If not, a town can’t get federal flood insurance and would have limited eligibility for federal disaster assistance. Home buyers may find it hard to secure, renew or extend a mortgage loan.

The planning and zoning department is in charge of flood prevention programs for China Grove, East Spencer, Cleveland, Faith, Granite Quarry, Rockwell and Spencer, as well areas in extraterritorial jurisdictions or ETJs. Kannapolis, Landis and Salisbury have their own programs, so anyone living in those areas can contact those planning and zoning departments with questions.

Anyone can review the proposed revisions at the NC Flood Risk Information System website.