Flood Awareness

Flood Awareness

National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP)

The NFIP is a Federal program enabling property owners in participating communities to purchase insurance protection against losses from flooding. This insurance is designed to provide an insurance alternative to disaster assistance to meet the escalating costs of repairing damage to buildings and their contents caused by floods.

Participation in the NFIP is based on an agreement between local communities and the Federal Government that states if a community will adopt and enforce a floodplain management ordinance to reduce future flood risks to new construction in Special Flood Hazard Areas, the Federal Government will make flood insurance available within the community as a financial protection against flood losses.

In support of the NFIP, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) identifies flood hazard areas throughout the U.S. and its territories by producing Flood Hazard Boundary Maps (FHBMs), Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRMs), and Flood Boundary and Floodway Maps (FBFMs). Several areas of flood hazards are commonly identified on these maps. One of these areas is the Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA), a high-risk area defined as any land that would be inundated by a flood having a 1-percent chance of occurring in any given year (also referred to as the base flood).

Flood Warning System

The City of Rocky Mount provides has a comprehensive warning system. All citizens that reside in a Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA) have been identified and mapped. When potential flooding has been predicted Emergency Response personnel visit each location and notify citizens of potential danger. In addition, each resident located in SFHA receive an automated phone call warning them of potential hazards. Warning notifications are broadcast on local radio and TV stations.

FM WRMT-1490
FM WZAX-99.3
WPWZ-95.5 FM

The National Weather Service maintains a gauge, located at Atlantic Avenue, that provides current, historic, and forecast data for the water level in the Tar River. The information for the Tar River at NC97 gauge is accessible online via the Advanced Hydrologic Prediction Service


The City of Rocky Mount is committed to becoming resistant to disasters. Protection of our floodplains is one way to protect property and save lives in our city. The flood maps, prepared by the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the North Carolina Division of Emergency Management, are available to anyone who wants to learn more about the flood risk for properties in the city. Copies of flood maps are available for review in the Department of Development Services and the Braswell Library.

Additionally, the State of North Carolina maintains, as a public service to the citizens of North Carolina, the Flood Risk Information System (FRIS) website that contains digitally accessible flood hazard data, models, maps, risk assessments and reports that are database driven. This site also provides geospatial base map data, imagery, LiDAR data, along with hydraulic and hydrologic models that is available for download and use.

Open Space

In Rocky Mount, parts of Battle Park, Tom Stith Park, and Sunset Park are located in Special Flood Hazard Areas. These areas are preserved and protected as open space for public enjoyment.


Retrofitting is making changes to an existing building to protect it from flooding or other hazards such as high winds and earthquakes. The six common methods of retrofitting are:

  • Elevation - Raising your house so that the lowest floor is above the flood level (Copies of elevation certificates are also available for most structures constructed in the SFHA after 1992.)

  • Wet Floodproofing - Making uninhabited portions of your house resistant to flood damage and allowing water to enter during flooding.

  • Relocation - Moving your house out of the floodplain to higher ground where it will not be exposed to flooding.

  • Dry Floodproofing - Sealing your house to prevent flood waters from entering.

  • Levees and Floodwalls - Building a floodwall or levee around your house to hold back flood water.

  • Demolition - Tearing down your damaged house and either rebuilding property on the same property or buying or building a house elsewhere.

For questions regarding retrofitting and permitting in a floodplain, please call 252-972-1113.

Floodplain Protection Zoning Overlay District

The City of Rocky Mount has adopted regulations intended to minimize public and private losses due to flood conditions in specific areas. These standards can be found in our Land Development Code: