Coastal Hazards and the Built Environment on Barrier Islands: A Retrospective View of Nags Head n the Late 1990s

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This article provides a summary of past disasters, and hazard mitigation initiatives in the state of North Carolina, with a focus on the barrier island of Nags Head. The article also highlights the application of GIS technology to assess (i) the built environment and the extent of development and tax base in the "danger" zones (floods, oceanfront hazard zone, incipient inlets); (ii) the status of pre-Flood Insurance Rate Mapping (FlRM) structures on developed parcels; and (iii) vacant land in relation to current zoning. Findings show that 72% of Nags Head was developed, with close to one-third of the developed parcels within the oceanfront hazard zone. A relatively high percentage of structures built prior to Nags Head's regular participation in the Flood Insurance Rate Mapping (FIRM) program also lie within incipient inlets and VE flood zones. These findings were used as part of Nags Head's ongoing hazard mitigation initiatives.
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