Charlotte is in the top 1% of cities nationwide for its flood risk mitigation

Date: 2021-09-29 20:03:45

FEMA is recognizing the City of Charlotte as a Class 3 community for its flood risk mitigation efforts.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Charlotte residents will soon save a collective one million dollars in flood insurance premiums every year thanks to special recognition by the Federal Emergency Management Association.

In response to Charlotte-Mecklenburg Storm Water Services’ efforts towards mitigating the risk of flooding, FEMA will recognize the city as a Class 3 community. This designation provides all Charlotte properties a 35% discount on flood insurance.

“If you don’t have flood insurance, your homeowner’s policy won’t cover that,” Craig Fugate, former FEMA director under the Obama administration, said Wednesday. “And you’ll say, but I don’t live in a flood zone. If I dumped two feet of rain in your region, a lot of homes are going to flood that aren’t in the special flood risk area.”

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Fugate said for every inch of water you get in your home, that’s about $27,000 worth of damage.

Charlotte is in the top 1% of cities nationwide for its flood risk mitigation. However, flash flooding continues to be a problem in our local community. More development and urbanization leads to more storm water runoff during big storms. And these rain events are happening more often which is why residents should be prepared.

Storm Water Services has gained this new status by communicating safety information, providing floodplain mapping, and offering an alert system called the Flood Information Notification System (FINS). These alerts go to residents, but also emergency responders.

“We have gauges in the streams telling us how fast that water is coming up and how high the water is. Is it going to top over the bank? Is it coming up to a bridge?” said John Wendel, the Senior Communication Specialist at Charlotte-Mecklenburg Storm Water Services. He says by seeing these alerts, emergency responders can get out to a road, close that road and help keep people safe.

If you want to get flood insurance for your home, there is a 30-day waiting period. Residents can purchase flood insurance through the National Flood Insurance Program even if they don’t live in a floodplain.

You can learn more about flood safety at https://floodsmart.gov, and you can learn more Charlotte-Mecklenburg Storm Water Services at stormwater.charmeck.org.

For the latest breaking news, weather and traffic alerts, download the WCNC Charlotte mobile app.  

You can use a NOAA Weather Radio or weather app, such as the WCNC Charlotte news app, to receive notifications whenever the National Weather Service issues a Flash Flood Warning.

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