This comparison of flood maps for Hatteras Village shows the change from VE, or high-velocity area, to a shaded X area, where federal flood insurance is not required, along the oceanfront, an area of severe flooding during Hurricane Isabel. Source: Dare County

NC - New Dare Flood Maps Misrepresent Risk

The disconnect between current flooding reality and the newly released floodplain maps in Dare County, which decrease flood zones by 41%, may be starker than most coastal areas in North Carolina because of the barrier islands’ geology.

But much of the disparity between actual vulnerability and the flood risk reflected in Dare’s pending flood maps relates the timing of data collection and a different interpretation of oceanfront storm surge.

Whatever the reason, the dramatic changes in the updated maps misrepresent the flood risk for property owners in unincorporated Dare County and its six towns, said Dare County Planning Director Donna Creef.

Of the county’s 12,875 properties, the VE, or high-velocity areas such as the oceanfront, will soon number 124 properties, compared with the 1,828 currently, according to a presentation Creef gave to the Dare County Board of Commissioners during its Jan. 6 meeting. Many VE properties will be moved to AE flood zones, which are classified at 4 feet or 8 feet of base flood elevation. In addition, she said, the revised maps decrease current AE zone properties from 12,875 to 8,493. Also, 2,890 properties have been reclassified as shaded X and X zones that do not require federal flood insurance.

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