What To Know: Living On A Floodplain

Digging Deeper: Living On The Floodplain

With all the flooding around the Piedmont Triad, 2 Wants To Know is digging deeper into what you need to know if you live on a flood plain, or if you're looking to buy a house in an area that could flood.

Prospective buyers - know what to ask. 

Sarah Kindley, a real estate broker with Coldwell Banker in Burlington says North Carolina is "buyer beware" state, meaning you have to do your research.  It's not on the seller to tell you if property frequently floods, although that is something a real estate agent should tell you and it's something you should ask about.  Kindley says you'll also want to see for yourself.

"Definitely when it's raining I recommend people to ride by the property that they're either under contract on or thinking about purchasing and just see which way the water is draining or flowing," she says.

So, how do you know officially if you're on a floodplain?

David Bowman is the Floodplain Administrator for the City of Burlington.  He says flood plains are based on how high water can get and the elevation of your property.  He adds, anyone in the state can look up where they're at online at ncfloodmaps.com.

Blue indicates areas in the 100-year floodplain, meaning there's a 1% chance it could flood anytime it rains.

The yellow are is the 500-year floodplain, meaning there's a .2% chance it could flood anytime it rains.

Anything outside those sections is not on the floodplain.

The blue dashed area is considered the floodway, meaning you can't build on that property.

"The flood plain you can build in with a development permit here in Burlington," Bowman explains.  "You just have to be 2-feet above the flood elevation to be able to build."

Bowman says most communities regulate building permits, although it's FEMA that determines where the flood plains are.  The agency assesses the flood plains about every ten years to see if there needs to be changes made.

As for insurance, if you live in the flood plain most insurance providers will require you to have flood insurance.  If you don't, some providers or lenders won't require it, or may not be able to add it to your policy.  Know that homeowner's or renter's insurance won't work if damage is caused by a flood.

 

© 2017 WFMY-TV


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