Preliminary Flood Plain Maps

The Public Open House to review the updated Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRMs) for Randolph County will be on Tuesday, October 17, 2023, from 3:30 pm to 5:30 pm in Meeting Room A, Randolph County Office Building, 725 McDowell Rd, Asheboro, NC 27205. Representatives from the North Carolina Flood Mapping Program and County Planning Staff will be on site to assist citizens in reviewing the maps.

General Information

The North Carolina Flood Mapping Program (NCFMP) along with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), is in the process of updating the Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRMs) for all of Randolph County. Most citizens know these maps as flood maps or DFIRMS. The Flood Insurance Study (FIS) studies the entire County and looks for areas that are at risk of flooding as a result of heavy rains. The current FIRMs for the County have an effective date of January 2, 2008, and have been updated as necessary. The National Flood Insurance Reform Act of 1994 requires FEMA to review the FIMRs and update them as needed. The preliminary FIRMs for Randolph County were published by the NCFMP on March 31, 2023, and are available at the links below.

Why and When do Floodplains Change?

As technology improves and development takes place in the County, FEMA and NCFMP use various information to update the FIRMs to better reflect the conditions in the County. Streams can change over time due to development, erosion, silt deposits, and other natural and manmade forces. NCFMP used LiDAR technology to generate contour and elevation data that makes the mapping and modeling process even more accurate. Extreme amounts of rain in a short period are occurring more often and when combined with everything else, these are the reasons that FIRMs must be updated.

Impacts on Citizens and Developers

Some parts of the County will have a small floodplain area while other areas could have larger floodplain areas. Some buildings that are currently outside of the floodplain could now be in a floodplain and some buildings that are inside a floodplain currently could be removed from the floodplain.

If you find that your property will be in a Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA), then you make have to purchase flood insurance. If the building is located in an SFHA and has a federally-backed mortgage, you will be required by Federal law to purchase flood insurance. After FEMA issues the Letter of Final Determination telling the County to start using the new FIRMS, your mortgage lender will reach out to property owners on the requirement to purchase flood insurance and the timeframe to purchase the coverage.

If your building has been removed from a SFHA, it is possible that you may be able to drop your flood insurance coverage but the mortgage lender still has the option to require flood insurance even if the building is outside of the SFHA.

View Preliminary Flood Maps

Citizens can view the current and preliminary flood maps at the NC Flood Risk Information System (FIRS) website.

The site is easy to use and you can either enter your address and the site will zoom to that location on the FRIS and it will show the current map. To see the preliminary map, click the button at the top right corner that says "Effective" and change the selection to "Preliminary." The map will update to show the preliminary information. Citizens can also see the differences between the effective and preliminary maps by keeping the selection on "Preliminary" by clicking the Layers menu in the upper left corner and checking the boxes for "Changes Since Last FRIM Floodway" or "Changes Since Last FIRM SFHA."

Randolph County's GIS website only shows effective maps. Once the maps are final and adopted by the Board of County Commissioners, the GIS website will be updated

Appeals and Comments

FEMA will determine when the appeal period will start and it will run for 90 days and allows citizens and the County to appeal or comment on the new flood maps and the Base Flood Elevations (BFE).

Appeals: A formal challenge to the new or revised BFE, the modification of an SFHA boundary or designation, or the modification of any regulatory floodway in the preliminary FIS or FIRM. Appeals must be based on scientific and technically sound data that shows that the proposed BFE, SFHA boundary, and flood zone designation or boundary is scientifically or technically incorrect. Appeals must be made to the County who will forward the appeals to NCFMP and FEMA with a statement whether to whether the County supports the appeal.

Comments: An objection to a base map change or any non-appealable change. It is a formal objection to the preliminary FIS report and/or information shown on the preliminary FIRM that is not related to BFE or modified SFHA designations. Comments generally include issues such as changes in municipal boundaries, road names, locations, and other possible omissions or improvements. Any requested changes must include a summary detailing the requested changes. Comments must be made to the County who will forward the appeals to NCFMP and FEMA with a statement whether to whether the County supports the appeal.

All appeals and comments will be reviewed by NCFMP and FEMA and they will respond to the County and the person filing the appeal with the decision or request for more information. If changes are necessary, NCFMP will revise the preliminary FIRM and/or FIS to reflect the information submitted and will also provide copies of the materials with the appeal or comment resolution letter.

Due to the scale of the maps, requests that involve individual parcels or structures thought to be wrong in the SFHA or the preliminary FIRM cannot be resolved through the appeal process. Property owners can submit mapping and survey information to FEMA to request a Letter of Map Amendment (LOMA). The LOMA can remove parcels or structures from the SFHA and typically takes 30 to 60 days and there is no fee. Additional information on the LOMA process can be found here. 

Additional information on the Appeals and Comment process can be found below.

Schedule for Preliminary Flood Map Update

March 31, 2023
Preliminary flood maps released by NCFMP to Randolph County and its communities.
July 27, 2023
Community Official Meeting with NCFMP to discuss the preliminary map adoption process.
October 17, 2023
Public Open House
To Be Determined90-day Appeal and Comment period beings (Date determined by FEMA)
To Be Determined90-day Appeal and Comment period ends (Date determined by FEMA)
To Be DeterminedResolution of Appeals and Comments
To Be DeterminedFEMA issues the Letter of Final Determination. This starts the six month period for the County and its communities to adopt the new Flood Maps and update the Flood Plain Damage Prevention Ordinance.
To Be Determined
New Flood Maps adopted by the County and its communities.