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​​​​​FEMA Ranks Charlotte Highest Among Major Cities for Flood Risk Management

FloodA 2016 Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) review of Charlotte-Mecklenburg Storm Water Services’ (CMSWS) flood risk management activities has recognized Charlotte as one of the top cities in the nation. FEMA and the North Carolina Department of Public Safety will make a presentation to Charlotte City Council on Monday, May 22 by announcing that the City has ascended to a Community Rating System (CRS) Class 4 rating.

“Reaching Class 4 is a major benefit for Charlotte residents. Not only does it translate to a 30% reduction in premiums for policyholders, it is a recognition of decades of preparation to mitigate flooding before, during and after a storm,” explained Dave Canaan, County Division Director. “Managing floodplains for future growth, buying out structures at risk of repeated flood losses, expanding greenways, strong building codes, and creating a flood notification system are just a few of the things that make this community safer and more livable.”

In 2016, Charlotte City Council endorsed numerous plans instrumental to the higher rating, providing groundwork for flood mitigation and the reduction of future flood losses. These plans are often difficult to implement in larger cities with other competing needs. Charlotte is now the highest rated major metropolitan city and in the top 1% of all CRS participating communities in the United States.

Canaan warns against complacency. “Make no mistake, flooding is a natural occurrence in our floodplains. Charlotte must continue to lead by communicating the dangers of flooding, mapping flood hazard areas to prevent unsafe development, engaging Charlotte Fire Department when waters rise, and returning floodplains back to their natural state to prevent future losses and filter pollutants.”

Mecklenburg County manages FEMA’s Community Rating System for the City of Charlotte, as well as for the Town of Pineville and unincorporated Mecklenburg County.