A flooded neighborhood near the Black River in Currie five days after Hurricane Florence made landfall. This week commissioners approved new FEMA floodplain maps for areas west of the Black River basin. (Port City Daily photo/Mark Darrough)

NC - New floodplain maps approved for western Pender following record number of appeals

BURGAW — Commissioners reluctantly approved new floodplain maps in the Black River basin in western Pender County, adding 173 properties to the county’s flood zones.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the state conducted a Flood Insurance Study of the county before issuing the preliminary floodplain maps in the summer of 2014. County officials faced a December 6 deadline to adopt the new maps, called Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM) panels, to remain in compliance with the National Flood Insurance Program.

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On a three-to-one vote, commissioners adopted 47 new panels in the western portion of the county. Five panels surrounding Atkinson — two of which are mainly in Bladen County — were not updated due to budget constraints and limited development activity in the area, according to Floodplain Administrator Daniel Adams.

Pender planners attributed the four-year process to public outreach and a high number of appeals, which at 26 was “the largest number of appeals in a coastal county,” according to a planning staff report.

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