Flood Information

 

City of Asheville Stormwater Services is working to prevent loss of lives, service disruptions, and damages caused by flooding, while enhancing the natural and beneficial functions of the floodplain. Flooding can be caused by many factors including hurricanes and tropical storms, heavy rains, flash floods, and new development. The Stormwater Program adopts development policies and standards that prevent flooding, preserve stream channels, and minimize water pollution without arresting new or infill development. We also develop detailed watershed plans which promote orderly growth. The City works with local, state and regional partners to construct flood mitigation solutions.

 

 

Additional Information

Is my property in a flood zone?

Flood insurance

Understanding flood insurance

Flood maps: State and Federal

Search Elevation Certificates on file with the City of Asheville

Real Time Water Levels

 


DRAINAGE PROBLEMS

 

If you have a storm drain near your property you can help maintain it. It is best not to clear your drain while it is raining or if the storm runoff along the street is running fast. Often storm drain grates get clogged with grass clippings, mulch, trash or other debris. Remove and properly dispose of any debris that may be blocking the storm drain grate. If the storm drain is on a busy street or the pipe is clogged, call 828-251-1122 Or 828-232-4567.

The City of Asheville’s Code of Ordinances, Chapter 16; Street, Sidewalk and Other Public Places, Article I; In General, Section 16-3; Keeping sidewalks, grass strips drainage swales and gutters clear, clean and unobstructed., Sub-section C; Maintenance Requirements., Number 2.

The specific ordinance states as follows:

2. Drainage swales: The responsible party that has a drainage swale running along the street that abuts the responsible party’s property shall mow and otherwise properly maintain such swale so that it can continue to serve its proper drainage function.

It is particularly important to maintain the drain before the rain starts falling. Because streets are part of our drainage system if the storm drain grate is clogged with debris the excess water backs up onto the street and can cause flooding. Maintaining your drain can reduce street flooding.

Storm drains empty directly into creeks, lakes and rivers. Any of the grass clippings, mulch, trash or other debris that goes down the storm drain ends up in our local body of water. That can hurt aquatic life, help keep our waterways clean by maintaining your drain. It is illegal to pour or toss anything into a storm drain. To report illegal discharge into a storm drain call:

828-232-4567
Monday – Friday 8:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m., or
828-251-1122 after normal business hours.

 


FLOODPLAIN BASICS

 

The floodplain is the area of land near a water way which floods when the water way is carrying a larger volume of water than normal. Some floodplains are wide while others are narrow. Some floodplains experience frequent flooding while others are very infrequent.

Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRM) depict areas of flood risk. These maps were created as part of the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), which is managed by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). The City is a participating community in the NFIP.  The NFIP offers insurance to citizens located in flood prone areas. Visit the Flood Map Service Center or the NC Flood Risk Information System for more information.

Floodplains provide beneficial natural functions that help improve and protect water quality.  Floodplains provide natural storage and conveyance of flood waters, and can reduce the severity and frequency of floods.   Floodplains help maintain biodiversity and integrity of ecosystems for fish and wildlife. As well, they help improve water quality through filtering nutrients from runoff and reduce stream bank erosion and sedimentation.

 


BEFORE IT FLOODS

 

 


DURING A FLOOD

 

  • Call 911 to report potentially dangerous flooding
  • Do not let children play near creeks or streams when the water is rising.
  • Be aware that flash flooding can occur. If there is any possibility of a flash flood, move immediately to higher ground.
  • Do not wait for instructions to move.
  • Secure your home. If you have time, bring in outdoor furniture. Move essential items to an upper floor.
  • Do not walk through flowing water. The current in just six inches of water can sweep you off of your feet.
  • Do not drive through standing water. If your vehicle stalls, abandon it and get to higher ground. Do not try to push it out of the water.
  • If told to evacuate your home, do so immediately.  Know your evacuation routes and shelters.
  • Turn off utilities at the main switches or valves if instructed to do so. Disconnect electrical appliances. Do not touch electrical equipment if you are wet or standing in water.

 


AFTER A FLOOD

 

  • Use local alerts and warning systems to get information and expert advice as soon as it is available.
  • Avoid moving water.
  • Report any downed power lines to your utility company.
  • Use extreme caution when entering buildings; there may be hidden damage, particularly in foundations.
  • Do not use appliances or motors that have gotten wet. Take them to a professional to be cleaned and dried.
  • Clean and disinfect everything that got wet. Mud left from flood waters can contain sewage and chemicals.
  • Throw away any food and medicine that may have been in contact with floodwater.
  • Report potential hazards and storm damage.
  • All structures affected by flooding will need to obtain building and flood permits from Development Services Department.
  • You may proceed with cleanup activities and temporary emergency repairs to prevent further deterioration, such as preventing the spread of mold and/or mildew without a permit.

 


BUYING AND SELLING PROPERTY LOCATED IN THE FLOODPLAIN

 

It is legal to sell property in a floodplain. The State of North Carolina requires sellers to inform prospective buyers of flood drainage problems. The State of North Carolina Residential Property & Owners’ Association Disclosure Statement requires seller to tell the buyer if there is any problems with dampness or standing water. Sellers also have to disclose if the property is a flood hazard or if the property is located in a federally-designated flood hazard area.

 


DEVELOPMENT IN THE FLOODPLAIN

 

The City of Asheville Unified Development Ordinance regulates development activities in the floodplain.  All development and (re)construction in the floodplain requires a permit from the Development Services Department located at 161 S. Charlotte St.  To report illegal development in the floodplain please contact stormwater@ashevillenc.gov, or 828-259-5670.

The Flood Protection Ordinance Section 7-12-1 provides detailed requirements for development in the floodplain. Section 7-5-12 provides information on floodplain development review process.

Substantial Improvement is defined as any combination of repairs, reconstruction, rehabilitation, addition, or other improvement of a structure, for which the cost equals or exceeds 50 percent of the market value of the structure before the “start of construction” of the improvement.  Substantial Damage means damage of any origin sustained by a structure whereby the cost of restoring the structure to its before damaged condition would equal or exceed 50 percent of the market value of the structure before the damage occurred.  These costs are cumulative and tracked over running one year period, from CO/CC.

For more information on permit requirements and process for Residential development, click here.  For Commercial development click here. contact the Development Services Department Site Engineering Division for any questions at 828-259-5670 or stormwater@ashevillenc.gov.

 


BACKYARD STREAMS

 

Many Asheville residents have streams on their property. During storm events or heavy rains these streams may erode the land or cut deeper channels, creating potential problems for the land owners or neighbors in the watershed. The NC Cooperative Extension Backyard Stream Repair team produced a guide, Small-scale Solutions to Eroding Streambanks, to give residents many ways to manage and maintain streambanks. Backyard Stream Repair workshops are also held at various locations across the state to provide residents with hands-on opportunities to learn how to stabilize streambanks, enhance their property and improve the environment.

 


COMMUNITY RATING SYSTEM PROGRAM

 

The Community Rating System (CRS) Program, a part of the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), is a voluntary incentive program that provides discounts off of flood insurance premiums to communities that exceed standards for floodplain management. As of December 2014 the City of Asheville has achieved a 10% discount off of flood insurance premiums for all special flood hazard area property owners in the City due to the steps that the City has taken to reduce flood damage across the community.

 


ASHEVILLE/BUNCOMBE FLOOD DAMAGE REDUCTION TASK FORCE

 

The Asheville City Council on May 23, 2006, appointed a Flood Damage Reduction Task Force also consisting of City staff, members of the development community, owners of private property in the city and environmental representatives. The task force’s mission is to establish a regional approach and long-range plan for flood damage reduction, floodplain protection and watershed management. The plan is based on on best management models, which integrate objectives of flood control, transportation, economic development, land use and community planning, recreation and environmental preservation. For additional information, see the Flood Damage Reduction Task Force Findings and Recommendations of Oct. 30, 2007

 


FLOOD RESPONSE PLANS

 

During hurricanes, tropical storms, or anytime there is a heavy rain event, there are areas within the City that has had or has shown the potential of having damaging floods. The Army Corp of Engineers has composed emergency response plans that describe temporary and permanent flood proofing measures that may help provide protection to personal safety and property for the following area:

 

Biltmore Village Area

 

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