Wake County Hazard Mitigation Plan - January 2020


Effective FEMA DFIRM data was used for the flood hazard areas. Flood zones used in the analysis consist of Zone AE (1-percent-annual-chance flood), Zone AE Floodway, and the 0.2-percent-annual-chance flood hazard area. People Certain health hazards are common to flood events. While such problems are often not reported, three general types of health hazards accompany floods. The first comes from the water itself. Floodwaters carry anything that was on the ground that the upstream runoff picked up, including dirt, oil, animal waste, and lawn, farm and industrial chemicals. Pastures and areas where farm animals are kept or where their wastes are stored can contribute polluted waters to the receiving streams. Debris also poses a risk both during and after a flood. During a flood, debris carried by floodwaters can cause physical injury from impact. During the recovery process, people may often need to clear debris out of their properties but may encounter dangers such as sharp materials or rusty nails that pose a risk of tetanus. People must be aware of these dangers prior to a flood so that they understand the risks and take necessary precautions before, during, and after a flood. Floodwaters also saturate the ground, which leads to infiltration into sanitary sewer lines. When wastewater treatment plants are flooded, there is nowhere for the sewage to flow. Infiltration and lack of treatment can lead to overloaded sewer lines that can back up into low-lying areas and homes. Even when it is diluted by flood waters, raw sewage can be a breeding ground for bacteria such as e.coli and other disease causing agents. The second type of health problem arises after most of the water has gone. Stagnant pools can become breeding grounds for mosquitoes, and wet areas of a building that have not been properly cleaned breed mold and mildew. A building that is not thoroughly cleaned becomes a health hazard, especially for small children and the elderly. Another health hazard occurs when heating ducts in a forced air system are not properly cleaned after inundation. When the furnace or air conditioner is turned on, the sediments left in the ducts are circulated throughout the building and breathed in by the occupants. If the City water system loses pressure, a boil order may be issued to protect people and animals from contaminated water. The third problem is the long-term psychological impact o f having been through a flood and seeing one‘s home damaged and personal belongings destroyed. The cost and labor needed to repair a flood-damaged home puts a severe strain on people, especially the unprepared and uninsured. There is also a long-term problem for those who know that their homes can be flooded again. The resulting stress on floodplain residents takes its toll in the form of aggravated physical and mental health problems. Floods can also result in fatalities. Individuals face particularly high risk when driving through flooded streets. According to NCEI records, there have been 4 deaths in Wake County caused by flood events. Table 4.37 details the population at risk from the 1% annual chance flood event, according to data from the NCEM IRISK database. Note that development and population growth have occurred since the original analysis for the IRISK dataset was performed, therefore actual population at risk is likely higher.

Wake County Multi-Jurisdictional Hazard Mitigation Plan 2019


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