It’s not just the potential rise in insurance rates that has Carteret County commissioners worried about the new flood maps released for the area.
Commissioners expressed concerns after hearing a presentation from John Droz, a retired physicist from Morehead City, who voiced criticism about the methodology used in developing the new floodplain maps, which indicate areas at risk of flooding and at what level. The preliminary maps unveiled earlier this year have moved more properties in Onslow and Carteret counties from low risk to higher risk zones.
“It doesn’t make sense to me,” Commissioner Bob Cavanaugh said of the methodology presented.
Droz presented information showing more than 2,200 properties in Carteret County could be moved to higher risk designations.
The number of structures in Jacksonville’s 100-year floodplain more than doubled: from 509 to 1,366, state documents said.
Public meetings are scheduled this week in Onslow County on the flood maps.
Information sessions will be held from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. today at Onslow County Government Center and from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Sneads Ferry Community Center. The sessions will show the latest flood hazard and flood risk data for county residents and business owners.
Jacksonville Planning and Permitting, along with state Floodplain Mapping officials, hosts a public meeting on the topic from 4 to 6 p.m. Jan. 26 at Jacksonville City Hall, 815 New Bridge St.
Droz, who has spoken before the Carteret County Board of Commissioners in the past about the same issue, said flood maps have been based on 100 years of flood experience but the newly released maps are based primarily on what he called “speculative synthesized storms” rather data that accurately simulates past events.
“Where is the empirical data that supports these proposed changes,” Droz said.
Droz said the methodology should incorporate less computer models and increase information on real high water marks along the waterfronts.
Droz said all the assumptions made for each of the approximately synthesized storms used in the methodology should be publicized.
He said the state needs to publicly state a position regarding flood maps methodology that is “much less computer modeling and much more real high water mark data.”
The board did not take any action.
Chairman Mark Mansfield noted the flood maps are a federal issue and he encouraged anyone with concerns to contact legislators in Washington.