Special Flood Hazard Areas

Land area covered by the floodwaters of the base flood are the Special Flood Hazard Areas (SFHA) on NFIP maps. The SFHA is the area where the National Flood Insurance Program’s (NFIP’s) floodplain management regulations must be enforced and the area where the mandatory purchase of flood insurance applies. In Boone, the SFHA includes Zones A and AE.

Floodplains are low-lying areas adjacent to rivers, streams and lakes that are periodically inundated by floodwater. In Boone several rivers and streams converge to form the headwaters of the South Fork of the New River. These rivers and streams, though an amenity, have been the source of serious flooding problems for the Town. Although we have no control over the weather we can reduce the impact that flooding has on the Town and its citizens through sound floodplain management practices.

In an effort to lessen the town’s susceptibility to flooding, the Town of Boone entered the National Flood Insurance Program on September 28, 1979. The National Flood Insurance Program is a Federal program, which enables property owners in participating communities to purchase insurance as a protection against flood losses in exchange for State, and community floodplain management regulations that reduce future flood damage potential. Participation in the National Flood Insurance Program is based on an agreement between communities and the Federal Government.

As a condition of participation in the National Flood Insurance Program, the Town of Boone has adopted and enforces floodplain management regulations designed to reduce the amount of storm water generated by new development. These regulations restrict the type of development allowed in the Special Flood Hazard Area.

The Town also participates in the NFIP’s Community Rating System (CRS). The CRS provides for reductions in flood insurance rates based on expanding efforts by the Town to provide ongoing flood related products and education.

The town has divided the Special Flood Hazard Area into two distinct areas: the AE Flood Fringe and the AE Floodway Zone. The AE zone, also known as the base flood zone, is the area where there is a 1% chance of a flood equal to or exceeding the base flood in any given year. The floodway zone is the channel of the stream plus any adjacent floodplain areas that must be kept clear of encroachments and obstructions so that the 1% flood waters can be carried through the area without substantial increases in flood height.

The Flood Fringe is an area lying outside the Floodway, but within the Floodplain typically shown as zone A or AE on the Flood Insurance Rate Map. Generally construction within the Floodway Zone is not permitted.

Before any development can take place on a property where a portion of or the entire tract is located in the Special Flood Hazard Area, a determination must be made that the proposed development is permitted on the property. The first step in this process is to locate the parcel on the Flood Insurance Rate Map and determine whether the proposed development would impact or be impacted by the Flood Fringe or Floodway. If it is determined that the proposed development would be within the Special Flood Hazard Area, it is necessary to consult with department staff and the Unified Development Ordinance (UDO) to determine what restrictions and standards must be applied to the proposed development.

For assistance in determining if a property is located within a Special Flood Hazard Area, please contact the Planning & Inspections department at (828)268-6960.

Additional Flood Protection Information

North Carolina Flood Risk Information System
Federal Emergency Management Agency