Floodplain Information

Floodplain Management

Be mindful as floodwaters do not respect the lines on a map. Floods can happen anytime of the year, anywhere there is precipitation. They cause anguish and destruction - physical, emotional, and financial. Especially when victims realize the damage is not covered by their homeowners’ policy.   You do not need to live near a river or stream to be flooded. Floods result from storms, melting snow, hurricanes, water backup due to inadequate or overloaded drainage systems, and other causes.

The responsibility for reduction of flood losses is shared by all units of government -- local, state, federal – and the private sector.  In order to fulfill this responsibility, land owners and/or professionals planning any “development” activity within the floodplain should have the knowledge and skills to plan, design, and construct their project in compliance with floodplain regulations.  For purposes of floodplain management “development” means any manmade change to improved and unimproved real estate, including, but not limited to, buildings or other structures, mining, dredging, filling, grading, paving, excavating or drilling operations.

Floodplain Development Ordinance

The floodplain development ordinance is part of the Iredell County Land Development Code.  See Appendix G below.

Appendix G Flood Damage Prevention Ordinance

Floodplain Development Permit Requirements: 

A Floodplain Development Permit is a required for any disturbance within the floodplain prior to starting any development activity, including, but not limited to constructing a barn or shed, building a home, installing a road or driveway, or repairing or expanding an existing house or building. If your project is within the floodplain call or email the floodplain manager prior to starting your project.  Make sure you have the proper permits.

To help you in the permitting process the following are available online and can be downloaded:

Get your questions answered before the start of any development project.

Iredell County currently does not charge a fee for floodplain development permits.

Build Safe/Build smart

National Flood Insurance Program

The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) was created by Congress to mitigate future flood losses through sound, community-enforced building and zoning ordinances.   Such losses include those to lives, property, or the financial stability of a community. Nearly every flood prone area in North Carolina, including Iredell County, is part of this program.  Iredell County became a participating community on May 15, 1980.

Because it is a part of the NFIP, Iredell County can receive federal aid after the president declares a disaster. Iredell County residents can also purchase federally backed flood insurance (whether or not their property is in a FEMA mapped floodplain).  This coverage protects you even when a federal disaster isn’t declared.  And it’s paid for by policy premiums ---not tax dollars.

In return, Iredell County has to take steps to reduce local flooding risks. These include adopting and enforcing a floodplain management ordinance designed to reduce future flood risks to new construction in Special Flood Hazard Areas (SFHAs).

Special Flood Hazard Areas

The Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA) is a high-risk area defined as any land that would be inundated by a flood having a 1-percent chance of occurring in a given year (also referred to as the base flood). The high-risk-area standard constitutes a reasonable compromise between the need for building restrictions to minimize potential loss of life and property and the economic benefits to be derived from floodplain development. Development may take place within an SFHA, provided that development complies with local floodplain management ordinances, which must meet the minimum Federal requirements.

Standard home insurance policies do not cover flooding due to rising waters.


Frequently Asked Questions

Do I live in a flood zone?
Anywhere it can rain it can flood - meaning everyone lives in a flood zone. Risk levels vary. If you have not experienced a flood in the past it does not mean you are safe from future flooding. The best way to learn your individual flood risk is to locate your property on a flood map or talk to your insurance agent.

Where can I find flood maps and how do I determine if my property is in a regulatory floodplain?
Floodplain data can be viewed using Iredell County Connect GIS .  More detailed information, including base flood elevations and the width of non-encroachment zones, can be found on the NC Flood Risk Information System.  You can also call the floodplain manager.

Do I need a permit for grading property in the 100 year floodplain?
Yes, in most cases, a Floodplain Development Permit will be needed.

Are there areas of the 100 year floodplain in which no development is allowed?
Yes, there are floodways and non-encroachment areas in which no development can occur without an engineered “No Impact” study.


Related Information