Planning & Building Inspections

The purpose of this page is to provide helpful resources and links about flood and flood insurance information or questions.

 ReadyNC Information, from the State Government   

Town of Tarboro Facebook Page:
Edgecombe County Facebook Page :

Tarboro Flood Brochure
Annual Progress Report for Hazard Mitigation Plan

There are two main sources of flooding in Tarboro: flash floods caused by storm drainage systems overwhelmed by intense rains and overbank flooding caused by the Tar River, Hendricks Creek, Holly Creek, or the East Tarboro Canal overflowing its banks. Flash floods occur fairly often, as they are most frequently associated with severe thunderstorms and rain events, which quickly drop an extensive amount of water affecting small streams and storm drainage systems. The primary results of these flash flood events are flooding of roads, streams and low lying areas. Overbank flood occurs during prolonged rain events, which drop extensive rain over the entire river basin. Hurricane Floyd in 1999 is an example of this kind of event, where over twenty inches of rain caused the Tar River and her tributaries to spill over the banks causing massive damage.  To determine whether property is in the flood hazard area, visit, Edgecombe County GIS, or contact the Planning Department.  

Tarboro is a participant in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), which makes it possible for Tarboro property owners to obtain federally backed flood insurance. Tarboro voluntarily participates in the CRS program, which discounts premiums within the jurisdiction. Currently Tarboro is a Class 7, which reduces premiums by 15% within the SFHA.  This insurance is available to any owner of insurable property (building or contents) and tenants to insure their personal property against flood loss. The NFIP provides both structural (such as the building, HVAC, plumbing) and content coverage (such as clothing, electronics).  We urge persons who live or own property in flood hazard areas to purchase flood insurance to protect themselves from losses due to flooding. This insurance is required in certain instances, such as the purchase of a home with a federally backed mortgage.  Please note that there is a waiting period of 30 days after policy purchase before the policy becomes effective.  
FloodSmart (NFIP Information)
Local NFIP agents.  

There are several actions residents of flood hazard areas can take to decrease the potential of damage/loss of property or injury due to flooding.
1. Know flood warning procedures.
2. Do not attempt crossing a flowing stream where water is above your knees, and do not drive in flooded areas. 
3. Keep children away from flood waters, ditches, culverts and storm drains.
4. Abandon your vehicle if stalled out in high water and seek higher ground.
5. Evacuate the flood hazard area in times of impending flood or when advised to do so by the police or fire department.
6. Cut off all electric circuits at the fuse panel or disconnect switches. If this is not possible turn off or disconnect all electrical appliances. Shut off the water service and gas valves in your home

In the event of an emergency, one of the tools available to disseminate information to citizens of Tarboro and Edgecombe County is the CodeRED™ Emergency Telephone Calling System. The system can provide mass emergency notifications to residents and businesses within minutes of an emergency or a potential hazard. To register, visit the CodeRED™ page.


How do I know which roads to take if I need to evacuate?  Most evacuation routes are marked with circular blue signs that read "Evacuation Route." The signs are typically posted along interstates and major highways in the state's coastal region. These routes were selected, because they can accommodate heavy traffic volumes and have higher speed limits. They also provide direct paths to areas not usually affected by hurricanes where food, water and shelter would be available.By following the posted evacuation routes, you can leave threatened areas more quickly and efficiently than on local roads. You can find the evacuation route nearest you on the NCDOT Hurricane Evacuation Routes map.If you are uncertain about safety of the route you should take, call 511, North Carolina's toll-free traveler information line, at any time for updates on road conditions and closures. The latest travel details will also be posted on permanent and portable message boards along the evacuation routes, highway advisory radios and TIMS, the N.C. Department of Transportation's DriveNC website

Why should I take these designated routes and not the back roads I'm more familiar with?  It all boils down to resources. Emergency responders cannot be everywhere at once. Law enforcement officers, NCDOT's Incident Management Assistance Patrols and other personnel are typically positioned along the major evacuation routes to help motorists. If you stray from these routes, you could risk getting stranded or lost, two things you definitely want to avoid during a hurricane.
I'm worried about getting stuck in traffic back ups. What kinds of essential items should I pack in the car before I evacuate?  Fuel is an important asset to have during an evacuation. If possible, fill your vehicle's gas tank before you leave. Also, bring plenty of water and non-perishable snacks on the trip, because grocery stores and restaurants may not be open. Another helpful resource is a small, plastic bag for trash. Remember, any litter you throw outside becomes flying debris during a hurricane.If you do happen to run out of gas or experience car trouble while evacuating, move your vehicle safely to the shoulder of the road to reduce unnecessary congestion. During a major evacuation, NCDOT's goal is to have IMAP available to help keep lanes clear and traffic moving.  
Once I start driving, what should I watch out for?  Many things. Hurricanes are incredibly powerful storms that are capable of uprooting trees, washing out bridges and culverts, and littering the roadways with debris. They may also knock down power lines and cause outages.That is why it is best not to drive during or right after a hurricane. If you must drive, be sure to use extreme caution. If you approach any of these hazards, turn around immediately and drive to a safer place.
There is some water flowing down my street, but the news says the main roads are clear. I need to check on my family. Should I drive through it?  Absolutely not. Moving water can be extremely dangerous, even if it is shallow. It is powerful enough to push a car off the road and strand its passengers within minutes. You also cannot be sure exactly how deep the water is or what is lying beneath its surface. It could be concealing a large sinkhole or piece of debris, both of which could seriously hurt you and damage your vehicle.  Play it safe, instead. Wait for the water to recede before you drive.

Edgecombe County Emergency Operations Plan - EOP
Wind and hurricane damage can be significant, but some protection methods can reduce those impacts.  
FEMA's Avoiding Hurricane Damage
Recent construction practices and regulations have helped make new homes more flood resistant. Many existing homes are still susceptible flood loses. Temporary measures for reducing loses include such things as moving furniture and utilities to upper floors or higher elevations. There are several ways of retrofitting existing buildings like elevating the structure, relocation of a structure, sealing a structure, protection of utilities, installing flood vents and correcting drainage problems. FEMA has several publications on ways of retrofitting existing buildings, such as the Homeowner's Guide to Retrofitting.
Retrofitting means making changes to an existing building to protect it from flooding or other hazards such as high winds and earthquakes. 

Six Ways to Protect Your Home From Flooding:

  • Elevation is raising your home so that the lowest floor is above the flood level. This is the most common way to avoid flood damage.
  • Wet floodproofing makes uninhabited parts of your home resistant to flood damage when water is allowed to enter during flooding.
  • Relocation means moving your home to higher ground where the exposure to flooding is eliminated altogether.
  • Dry floodproofing is sealing your home to prevent flood waters from entering.
  • Levee and floodwall protection means constructing barriers to prevent flood waters from entering your home.
  • Demolition means razing your home and rebuilding properly on the same property or buying a home elsewhere.
The storm drain system carries untreated stormwater runoff directly to rivers and creeks. Improper pouring of wastes into storm drains directly impacts our environment. Oil, paint, fertilizer and pesticides pollute the water, destroy plants, endanger wildlife and affect drinking water.
Water quality benefits from properly maintaining the storm drain system include:
Clean water in our rivers for drinking, wildlife, and recreation
Less maintenance is needed for storm drainage facilities that are free from sediment and trash.
Clean stream corridors provide a healthy habitat for wildlife and an attractive space in a neighborhood.
To report a spill or illegal dumping of hazardous material into the storm drainage system, contact the Public Works Department at 252-641-4234.

Tarboro has adopted regulations as a part of the Town of Tarboro’s Unified Development Ordinance that regulate development in Special Flood Hazard Areas. Development activities include construction of buildings, mining, dredging, filling, grading, paving, excavation or drilling operations. The following are examples of Tarboro’s floodplain development regulations:
-Residential structures minimum of 3 ft. above base flood elevation in the 100 yr. floodplain
-Residential structures minimum of 2 ft. above base flood elevation in the 500 yr. floodplain
-Fill shall not be used to elevate buildings in any flood hazard area or for any other purpose except to access property
-Substantial improvements or damages (25% of value) to a structure will require the structure to meet current flood development regulations (This is a cumulative value over time.)
A permit is required from the Planning and Inspections Department for any of the above activities that will take place in a designated floodplain. To apply for a permit or report illegal floodplain development or learn more about Tarboro’s flood regulations, contact the Planning and Inspections Department at 252-641-4249.

Town of Tarboro's Flood Ordinance 

Floodplains are important to Tarboro in many ways. The water you drink comes from the Tar River. The stream corridors and floodplains are the last buffer before runoff reaches the river, and the streams and creeks that empty directly into the river. That’s why it is important to keep the floodplain free from trash, debris and harmful contaminates that can find their way into our drinking water source. The floodplain also provides a habitat for wildlife and areas for recreation, as well as natural erosion control and open space to reduce further flooding damage.
Town of Tarboro  Erosion Control, and Stormwater Ordinance
Tarboro’s Planning Department provides a Map Information Service, giving flood zone determinations, maps, and related information to insurance agents, developers, citizens, and any inquirer. The office can provide site-specific information, including:
Basic Flood Insurance Rate Map Information (FIRM)
Additional FIRM information (Floodways, etc.)
Flood Depth Data
Natural Floodplain Functions

The Planning & Inspections and Public Works Departments also provide Flood Protection Assistance: one-on-one technical advice and/or assistance through phone calls and site visits about property protection from flooding, drainage, and sewer problems.

Elevation Certificates are on file at Town Hall for many properties within the town, and copies will be provided upon request. Please contact the Planning Department for any questions, concerns, or copies of Elevation Certificates we may have available for your property. 
Elevation Certificate Forms for surveryors/engineers:

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