Flood Resources

Flooding in Rutherfordton


Flooding occurs when a normally dry area becomes covered in water or some other liquid. Flooding is often caused by rain. However, it can also happen because of dam failures, melting snow and ice, seeping groundwater, and damaged water or sewer pipes. Your property can be damaged by flooding even if you don’t live next to a stream or lake! These types of flooding can be hard to predict.


Flooding of land near waterways (such as streams, rivers, and lakes) during storms can occur because of rising water levels. These areas are called floodplains. Flooding can vary with each storm based on the amount of rain, how hard it is raining, and how long it rains. Several measures are in place to help protect residents from flooding. The United States Geological Survey monitors water levels and has an alert system in place. In many locations, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has mapped flood prone areas and estimated how likely they are to flood. These maps are called Flood Insurance Rate Maps or FIRMs.

Myth: The “100 Year Flood” should only happen once every 100 years.
Fact: The “100 Year Flood” actually has a 1% chance of happening in any given year. These floods can occur far more often than once every hundred years. Homes in these areas have a 26% chance of such a flood occurring during a 30 year mortgage period.

National Flood Insurance Program

Rutherfordton Flood

The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) was created by Congress in 1968 to reduce the risks associated with flooding. Such risks include those to lives, property, or the financial stability of a community. Nearly every flood prone area in North Carolina, including Rutherfordton, is part of this program.

Because it is a part of the NFIP, Rutherfordton can receive federal aid after the president declares a disaster. Rutherfordton residents can also purchase federally subsidized flood insurance (whether or not their property is in a FEMA mapped floodplain). Federally subsidized flood insurance costs about half as much as non-subsidized flood insurance.

In return, Rutherfordton has to take steps to reduce local flooding risks. These include adopting and enforcing floodplain development rules and requiring permits for any activity that disturbs land in a FEMA mapped floodplain.


Hazard Mitigation Planning

The Town and Rutherford County participate in planning to mitigate the effects of potential disasters.  Floodplains represent one of the potential risks covered by these planning efforts.  The link below represents current and proposed hazard mitigation planning.

Natural Hazards Planning

The Town of Rutherfordton is committed to preparing you for any possible situation. All the Town departments joined together to create a Natural Hazard Mitigation Plan to help the community to prepare for natural hazards and how to ultimately prevent or reduce the risk of serious injury or death in the event of one. Our plan covers hazards such as flooding, home fires, extreme heat and cold, and describes what to do after a disaster occurs. It also provides a list of relevant contact information for any hazard.

Floodplain FAQs

Your current insurance agent can help you get flood insurance. Most companies can write a NFIP flood insurance policy for you. If you need more help, www.FloodSmart.gov can provide you with names of local agents that provide NFIP flood insurance. You may also call the toll free number (888) 379-9531 to ask for a flood insurance agent referral.

Flood insurance is an important part of protecting your property. Property in a mapped floodplain is five times more likely to be damaged by a flood than by a fire. There is a 26% chance that such a property will be flooded during a 30 year mortgage.

In NFIP communities, the federal government requires flood insurance for buildings in a Special Flood Hazard Area that are financed through a federally backed mortgage or loan. (Lenders may require flood insurance for other types of loans as well.)

If you live outside a mapped floodplain your property may still be damaged by a flood. About 25% of all flood damage occurs outside mapped flood zones. Standard home insurance policies do not cover flooding due to rising waters.

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