Weather Trends and Flood Risk

It appears that regardless of the severity of recent storms and hurricanes, and trending higher temperatures, high risk areas like Dare County, North Carolina are uncertain as to who will call the shots on building codes in flood plain designated areas.

Recent NASA scientists’ confirmation – that we are indeed heading for a third record setting year of high temperatures in 2016- and scientific data that predicts a rise in ocean levels of more than 3 feet by the end of this century seems to be buffered by political agenda with regard to home owners and developers along the Atlantic coast.

More than 15,000 homes in Dare County were recently removed from the flood plain map which means they do not have to follow more stringent FEMA construction codes. Instead it may be up to municipalities to enforce and adjust local building codes, depending on where a property lies on the flood plain map. When the flood plain line “moves”, more or less precaution and flood risk mediation is enforced or not. Some municipalities along the coast maintain higher first level height requirements than the state requires.

As reported in the Claims Journal: ““Regardless of what the maps say, there is a flood risk in Dare County,” said Donna Creef, director of the Dare County Planning Department. “It’s just a line on a map, and Mother Nature is going to do what Mother Nature is going to do.”

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