Flood Information

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As a participant in the National Floodplain Insurance Program (NFIP), the City of Greenville adopted a Flood Damage Prevention Ordinance intended to reduce the risk of flood damage to insurable structures and help ensure the safety of our citizens. This ordinance regulates the development in the FEMA-designated Special Flood Hazard Areas (SFHA) to protect our citizens, reduce property damage from flooding, and allow the streams, creeks, channels, ditches, the Tar River, and their associated floodplains to function naturally with minimum obstructions.

There are approximately 10,004 acres of mapped floodplain within the City’s jurisdiction. These areas can become inundated with flood waters during severe thunderstorms, hurricanes, nor’easters, or other large rain events. Flooding is not limited to the floodplain but can occur anywhere including low lying areas, in the roadway, in a parking lot, or where stormwater pipes are overburdened, obstructed, or in need of repair. Remember, never drive through a flooded roadway, its best to Turn Around, Don’t Drown.

If your home or business is mapped within the SFHA as delineated on the published Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRM), your mortgage company will require you to purchase flood insurance. Federally backed flood insurance is available for all properties within the City regardless of whether they are inside or outside the SFHA. The City has prepared a brochure concerning the Mandatory Purchase of Flood Insurance to assist property owners. FIRM maps for Greenville and its extraterritorial jurisdiction are available online or for viewing at the Public Works Department and at Sheppard Memorial Library. The effective FIRMs are based on the July 7, 2014, Flood Insurance Study.

The National Flood Insurance Program's (NFIP) Community Rating System (CRS) is a voluntary incentive program that recognizes and encourages community floodplain management activities that exceed the minimum NFIP requirements. This is a point system program that reduces flood insurance premiums for the citizens of participating communities. The City has been a member of the CRS program since January 1992. The City’s current CRS rating is a Class 7 (the lower, the better). This classification means Greenville residents in the SFHA with flood insurance receive a 15% reduction on flood insurance premiums.

The City will provide one-on-one advice about property protection and will make site visits to assess a property owner’s site-specific flood conditions upon request.  Please contact the Engineering Department at 252.329.4467 for flood information, or to request a site visit.

Commonly Used Terms

Base Flood
The flood having a 1% chance of being equaled or exceeded in any given year.

Base Flood Elevation
Elevation to which floodwater is anticipated to rise during the base flood. Base Flood Elevations (BFEs) are shown on Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRMs) and on the flood profiles.

Any man-made change to improved or unimproved real estate, including but not limited to buildings or other structures, mining, dredging, filling, grading, paving, excavation or drilling operations or storage of equipment or materials.

The NFIP legal definition of a flood is a general and temporary condition where two or more acres of normally dry land or two or more properties are inundated by water or mudflow.

A floodplain is land which has been or may be covered by floodwater during a storm event. The FEMA designated floodplain includes both the floodway and flood fringe areas. The land does not need to be designated by FEMA to function as a floodplain. Any land adjacent to a body of water may be capable of being covered with floodwater during a storm. Development of any kind is not allowed in the floodway without a permit.

Floodway, non-encroachment area
The floodway or non-encroachment area is a regulatory boundary that includes the channel of a river, stream or drainage channel, and those portions of the floodplain where higher velocity and increased flood damage can be expected during a heavy flood. Development of any kind is not allowed in the floodway without a permit.

Flood Fringe
The flood fringe is the portion of the floodplain outside of the floodway but still contained within the floodplain boundary. This area is generally associated with standing water rather than flowing water.

Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRM)
An official map of a community, issued by the Federal Emergency Management Agency on which both the special flood hazard areas and the risk premium zones applicable to the community are delineated.

Flood insurance study (FIS)
An examination, evaluation, and determination of flood hazard areas, corresponding water surface elevations (if appropriate), flood insurance risk zones, and other flood data in a community issued by FEMA. The Flood Insurance Study report includes Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRMs).

In partnership with FEMA, North Carolina became the first state to assume responsibility for floodplain mapping. See FEMA's flood mapping information categorized for homeowners, insurers, lenders, and surveyors. Learn how to read flood insurance rate maps, how to challenge a lender's determination that your property is in a flood zone, and more.

Flood Maps available for download at the FEMA Map Store

Flood Insurance Study 07-07-14

Flood Damage Prevention Ordinance

North Carolina Flood Risk Information System

2020 Hazard Mitigation Plan

Mandatory Purchase of Flood Insurance Brochure

Flood Information Brochure


Federal Emergency Management Association (FEMA)

North Carolina Department of Emergency Management

National Flood Insurance Program

Flood Mapping Information for homeowners, insurers, lenders, and surveyors

Repetitive Loss Area Analysis

River Gauge Information

Program for Public Information