Know Your Flood Hazard
Your property may be located in an area prone to flooding. Natural disasters such as flood, fire, earthquake, tornado and windstorm affect thousands of people every year. You should know what your risks are and prepare to protect yourself, your family and community. One of the first steps to do this is to determine whether your property is located in a special flood hazard area. The maps located at the bottom of this page can help you accomplish this.
Be aware of flood hazards no matter where you live or work, but especially if you are in low-lying areas, near water, behind a levee or downstream from a dam. Even very small streams, gullies, creeks, culverts, dry streambeds or low-lying ground that appear harmless in dry weather can flood.
Flood Insurance Rate Maps
The Federal Emergency Management Agency has recently updated the coastal Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRMs) for the Town of North Kingstown. Copies of these maps are available below or at the Planning Department, 55 Brown Street, North Kingstown. You can also access this information through a portal on the RI Emergency Management Agency (RIEMA) website.
The North Kingstown Planning Department as well as the Building Official’s office provides either paper or digital copies of these maps for the public’s review. The public can either review the FIRM on a large computer screen linked to the FIRM database or they can review the hard copies. Both options are user friendly and staff in either department are well versed at the process and assisting the public with finding properties on the maps. The index for the town is referred to and the appropriate map is found in paper or digital copy. The previous FIRMs are also available using the same process. In addition, staff can assist the public over the phone with similar inquiries and email portions of the firm as a PDF as necessary.
Using the Maps
You can access the panel Number, flood zone, FIRM date, base flood elevation, Coastal A or CBRS, or depth of BFE Staff can also access past flood or repetitive flood area information for the property. In addition, there are sensitive or wetland area maps available for review for each lot. Most of this information is obtained from the FIRM maps, however other sources of information are used as well. Elevation certificates are filed by year (both electronically or in paper files) and can be reviewed for each inquiry, the town’s internet mapping server or GIS program can be accessed for wetland information.
RIEMA Floodplain Mapping Tool
The Rhode Island Floodplain Mapping Tool is an online mapping resource. The Tool provides users with flood risk information relative to residences, businesses, or other structures statewide.
While the tool is not intended for legal, engineering, or surveying purposes, it does provide users with an approximate flood zone determination relative to the flood hazard areas delineated on FEMA’s FIRMs. Multiple links are embedded in the program to guide users towards relevant information pertaining to the National Flood Insurance Program.
STORMTOOLS is a method to illustrate and display storm inundation, with and without sea level rise, for different types of storms that could occur along Rhode Island’s coast line. At the simplest level the system can be used to access flooding estimates for different areas for coastal planners and current and potential homeowners.
Predictions are provided that show water extent and depth at any given point for nuisance floods (1, 3, 5, and 10 yr recurrence intervals) and the 25, 50, 100, and 500 year storm scenarios at the 95% confidence interval. Sea level rise of 1, 2, 3, 5, and 7 feet on their own as well as combined with each storm scenario are also modeled. Flooding maps are also provided for historical hurricanes to include 1938, 1954 (Carol), 1991 (Bob), and 2012 (Sandy).
STORMTOOLS for Beginners is a one-map stop for all residents of Rhode Island to better understand their risk from coastal inundation and get answers to 3 questions:
- Is my property vulnerable to STORM SURGE?;
- How DEEP will the water be on my property during a 100-year (1% chance) coastal storm?; and
- Will projected SEA LEVEL RISE affect my property?
Advanced STORMTOOLS provides a series of maps that illustrate what coastal flooding could look like in the future under different storm scenarios. It enables Rhode Island’s municipal officials and decision makers to better understand their risk from coastal inundation.
STORMTOOLS is accessed online through ArcGIS.com and can be used by anyone - there is no need to download any software or go through extensive training. The maps are high resolution (1 m, 3.3 ft horizontal) and the user can type in an address or zoom to an area of interest and toggle on and off the different storm and sea level rise scenarios in order to better understand their risk.
The STORMTOOLS application is housed at the Shoreline Change Special Area Management Plan’s website and can accessed here:
CRMC Coastal Hazard Application
The RI Coastal Resources Management Council (CRMC) regulations now require that a Coastal Hazard Application be filed in addition to and with your standard CRMC application for projects within their jurisdiction. The Coastal Hazard Application web page provides additional detail and regulatory links for these projects.
As can be found on the CRMC web site, the list of projects below must include the CRMC Coastal Hazard Application WORKSHEET with their standard CRMC application:
Community Rating System
We have also recently prepared our annual submission as part of our participation in the Community Rating System program. A copy of the packet submitted for our annual re-certification in 2018 can be obtained here: 2018 CRS packet.
If you should have any questions, please feel free to contact the Planning Department at 410-268-1571. You can also access the Flood Smart website for additional guidance on understanding the flood maps. These maps are effective as of October 2013.
Flood Insurance Study
This countywide Flood Insurance Study (FIS) investigates the existence and severity of flood hazards in, or revises and updates previous FISs/Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRMs) for the geographic area of Washington County, Rhode Island, including the Towns of Charlestown, Exeter, Hopkinton, Narragansett, New Shoreham, North Kingstown, Richmond, South Kingstown, Westerly, and lands designated for the Narragansett Indian Tribe (hereinafter referred to collectively as Washington County).
This FIS aids in the administration of the National Flood Insurance Act of 1968 and the Flood Disaster Protection Act of 1973. This FIS has developed flood risk data for various areas of the county that will be used to establish actuarial flood insurance rates. This information will also be used by Washington County to update existing floodplain regulations as part of the Regular Phase of the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), and will also be used by local and regional planners to further promote sound land use and floodplain development. Minimum floodplain management requirements for participation in the NFIP are set forth in the Code of Federal Regulations at 44 CFR, 60.3.
In some States or communities, floodplain management criteria or regulations may exist that are more restrictive or comprehensive than the minimum Federal requirements. In such cases, the more restrictive criteria take precedence and the State (or other jurisdictional agency) will be able to explain them.