The N.E.W. Regional Hazard Mitigation Plan is being updated to meet FEMA Disaster Mitigation Act and North Carolina Emergency Management requirements. This plan includes all municipalities in Nash, Edgecombe, and Wilson Counties and must be updated every 5 years to remain eligible for FEMA pre and post-disaster grant funding.
Flood hazard areas have been mapped in the City of Wilson and Wilson County. Most of these areas are located along the various creeks and streams throughout the City and County. Maps showing the location of these flood hazard areas are available for viewing at the Wilson County Public Library (249 Nash Street, W) and the City of Wilson City Hall (112 Goldsboro Street, E). Elevation certificates are also available at the City of Wilson City Hall. Just ask for a member of the Land Development Team for assistance.
While hurricanes are generally considered a coastal problem, Hurricane Hugo (1989), Matthew (2016) and Florence (2018) illustrated that NC piedmont counties are not safe from the crushing winds and inland flooding caused by hurricanes. You should be concerned about them.
Inland flooding due to smaller storms is more frequent than hurricanes and can cause dams to overflow and streams and rivers to swell. These floods can cause great damage and loss of life. Flash floods move very fast. They can roll boulders, uproot trees, and destroy buildings and bridges.
If you have any questions or comments regarding these documents, please send them to Janet Holland, Land Development Manager or call 252-399-2215.
History of Flooding in the City of Wilson
Wilson is in the coastal plain geographic region of North Carolina, which means that Wilson is relatively flat with little topography. Our proximity to the coast of the Atlantic Ocean makes us very susceptible to Hurricanes and Tropical Storms. Major causes of flooding here in Wilson are:
1) flash flooding resulting from heavy rainfall that overburdens the drainage system within the City; and
2) riverine flooding resulting from heavy and prolonged rainfall which causes the capacity of river and stream channels to be exceeded.
Being prepared is your best defense against a flood.
Know Your Flood Hazard
Regulated floodplains are illustrated on inundation maps called Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRMs). FIRMs are the official maps for a community on which FEMA has delineated the Special Flood Hazard Areas (SFHAs), which represent the areas subject to inundation by the 1-percent-annual chance flood event. On average, structures located within the SFHA have a 26-percent chance of flooding during the life of a standard 30-year mortgage.
You can view FIRMs in Wilson County public libraries or at https://msc.fema.gov/portal/home. Contact the Development Services Department at (252) 399-2220 for a free flood zone determination for properties located within the City.
Properties located outside of the SFHA are not guaranteed to be safe from flooding.
Insure Your Property
Flooding is not covered by a standard homeowner’s insurance policy. The City of Wilson participates in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) which makes federally backed flood insurance available for all structures in the City regardless of whether or not they are located within a SFHA. Coverage is available for the building itself as well as its contents. Renters are highly encouraged to purchase flood insurance for their contents. Note that there is a 30-day waiting period before coverage goes into effect.
Contact your local insurance agency for more information.
Protect Yourself and Your Family
Tune-in to local commercial radio or television stations (WQDR – 94.7 FM, WRAL 101.5 FM, WWPL 96.9 FM) or NOAA weather radio frequencies (162.550 or 162.465). Purchase a Weather Alert Radio for your home and place of employment to stay informed of changing conditions. Sign up for emergency notifications (Code Red) at the following link: https://www.wilsonnc.org/residents/city-services/all-departments/communication-marketing/emergency-notification-system
If your property is in imminent danger of flooding, contact Wilson Energy at (252) 399-2200 to request that your power or natural gas be shut off or for guidance on how to do it yourself. Teach family members how and when to turn off gas, electricity and water.
Turn Around, Don’t Drown! Never attempt to drive through flooded roadways.
Avoid low-lying areas. Seek shelter in the highest areas possible.
Develop an evacuation plan for your family. Designate a place where your family will meet after an evacuation order is issued.
Protect Your Property
Various methods may be used to minimize flooding. If the floor level of your property is lower than the “Base Flood Elevation” (elevation of the 100-year flood, based on the FEMA maps), consider elevating your structure, if possible. Brochures discussing flood proofing and other mitigation measures are available in Wilson County public libraries.
If a flood is imminent, property can be protected by sandbagging areas subject to the entry of water into living spaces. Valuables and furniture may also be moved to higher areas of the dwelling to minimize damages. Residents can help reduce flooding by taking an active role in keeping trash and debris off the streets and sidewalks and out of streams and ditches. Contact the City’s Stormwater Specialist at (252) 296-3305 for information on the Adopt-a-Street Program.
The City of Wilson will make site visits to provide one-on-one advice to a property owner regarding flooding and drainage issues on private property. Financial assistance for federal grants and other financial assistance may be available. For more information, please contact the Unified Communication Center at (252) 399-2424 and someone will be incontact with you.
Visit the Fix-It Wilson non-emergency portal at https://iframe.publicstuff.com/#?client_id=1000026 to report issues such as flooding or drainage problems to the City.
All development within the City requires a permit. Always check and fulfill permitting requirements with the Building Inspections Division at (252) 399-2220 and/or the Engineering Division at (252) 399-2468 before you build on, alter, fill, or re-grade on any portion of your property and/or within any easement or right-of-way. Also, contact either of the numbers above to report any suspected permitting violations. Remember, when building or grading, always maintain a clear area between lots for drainage.
The NFIP requires that if the cost of reconstruction, additions, or other improvements to a building equals or exceeds 50% of the building’s market value, then the building must meet the same construction requirements as a new building. Substantially damaged buildings must also be brought up to the same standards. Contact the Development Services Department at (252) 399-2220 for more information.
Protect Natural Floodplain Functions
Floodplains are a natural component of the Wilson County environment. Understanding and protecting the natural functions of floodplains helps reduce flood damage and protect resources. When flooding spreads out across the floodplain, its energy is dissipated, which results in lower flood flows downstream, reduced erosion of the streambank and channel, deposition of sediments higher in the watershed and improved groundwater recharge. Floodplains are scenic, valued wildlife habitat, and suitable for farming. Poorly planned development in floodplains can lead to streambank erosion, loss of valuable property, increased risk of flooding to downstream properties and degradation of water quality. To get involved in protecting local floodplains, contact the City’s Stormwater Specialist at (252) 296-3305 for information on the Adopt-a-Stream program.
Know your evacuation route. The Wilson County Emergency Preparedness Division will order or advise evacuations if conditions warrant this action. If evacuations are called for, it is imperative that you follow instructions in the time frame noted. The designated hurricane evacuation routes from the Wilson area are as follows:
Raleigh Road Parkway to US 264W
I-95 North towards Virginia
Questions regarding emergency procedures may be addressed to the City of Wilson Emergency Manager at (252) 399-2888. For maps of evacuation routes, please consult:
Stream Gages for Wilson:
Inventory and photograph your home’s contents and put important papers and insurance policies in a safe place.
Keep an emergency supply. Non-perishable food, water, batteries, flashlights, manual can opener and a battery-operated radio should be kept available.
If possible, place the washer, dryer, furnace and water heater above potential flood waters. They should be placed on masonry blocks or concrete at least 12 inches above the projected flood elevation, moved to inside a floodwall or moved to a higher floor. All work must conform to state and local building codes.
Reduce Stormwater Flooding
Install Low Impact Development techniques to help manage stormwater on site instead of allowing it to run off into the stormwater drainage system. Contact Ready.gov for more information.
Install rain barrels under down spouts or extend down spouts away from your home into a rain garden. Don’t direct your downspouts into your driveway letting water flow directly into the street.
Teach school children about flooding, ways to reduce flood damage and the benefits of reduced stormwater pollution as well as not negatively impacting adjoining properties. For more information about NAI check out ASFPM at: https://www.floods.org/index.asp?menuID=349&firstlevelmenuID=187&siteID=1
For more information about flood safety or the NFIP, please note the following: