There may be some good news for Outer Banks property owners as the new flood zone maps are finalized. According to a WUNC report, Have We Been Overestimating Flood Risk On The Outer Banks?, more than 20,000 properties in Dare County will either be removed from the flood zones or find themselves in a reduced flood risk category.
At the the heart of the new ratings are mapping techniques that were unavailable when the original maps were created. Using a LIDAR (It’s not an acronym. The process is named after quantum physicist Daniel Lidar.) maps are being created that a remarkably more detailed than anything possible before this time. According to interviews conducted in the reporting, the LIDAR is 78 more times precise than the original maps.
The report did not include information about Currituck County, and the new maps that are being generated by the NC Department of Public Safety are still being developed. However, the new maps are available for viewing on their website, although specific information about rezoning areas has not yet been generated.
Not everyone will benefit from the new maps. Some areas, especially in southern Dare County may find they are in an increased risk of flood.