Floods are the most common and costly natural disaster in the United States. Floods may:

  • Result from rain, coastal storms, storm surges, and overflows of dams and other water systems
  • Develop slowly or quickly - Flash floods can come with no warning
  • Cause utility outages, disrupt transportation, and damage buildings

Floods can occur at any time of the year and almost anywhere in North Carolina, so it's important to prepare your family and property ahead of time. Learn more at ReadyNC.org and Ready.gov.

Did you know? More than 20% of flood claims come from properties outside of the high-risk flood zone, and homeowners' and renters' insurance typically do not cover flood damage. Learn about your flood risk at FloodSmart.gov.

National Weather Service's Wilmington Weather Field Office maintains a list of criteria for different statements, advisories, watches, and warnings.  Visit https://www.weather.gov/ilm/criteria and click the hazard at the top of the page for more information.

  • Flood watch – rainfall is heavy enough to cause rivers to overflow their banks. Flooding is possible in the next 12 to 36 hours.  Prepare your property, review your plans, and follow instructions from NWS and local officials.
  • Flood warning – flooding is occurring or very likely to happen. If you are in an area that is affected, be prepared to evacuate and/or move to a higher location.   If told to leave, do so immediately.
  • Flash flood watch – flash flooding in specified areas is possible. Be alert! You may need to take quick action.
  • Flash flood warning – flash flooding is occurring or is likely to happen along certain streams and select areas. Get to a safe place immediately!