Local News

Do you need flood insurance?

Posted August 24, 2011 4:12 p.m. EDT
Updated September 4, 2019 4:40 p.m. EDT

— Living inland doesn't necessarily mean flooding won't be a problem in the wake of a hurricane.

In 2004, for example, torrential rains from Hurricanes Frances and Ivan flooded parts of the North Carolina mountains.

Perhaps even more memorable was flooding from Hurricane Floyd in 1999, after the storm dropped more than a foot of rain on eastern North Carolina, pushing rivers and creeks well over their banks – some past 500-year flood levels – and sending people onto their roofs.

The disaster revealed the limitations of North Carolina's flood plain maps and prompted the state to set up a program and website so that it could update its own flood plain maps and making it easier for people to find out if they live in a flood zone.

The state's flood plain mapping website lets users enter their address and see nearby flood plains.

Knowing that can help them determine whether they have to buy federal flood insurance. Regular homeowners policies don’t cover damage from rising waters.

People within a 100-year flood zone usually do, but up to 25 percent of flooding claims are from people who live outside the 100-year zones.

A typical flood policy costs a homeowner about $600 a year.