River Place using different method for flood proofing

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River Place
In 2016, a representative for the city made a request to the board of adjustment so that River Place could be exempt from flood proofing requirements. Instead, it would use a different method approved by FEMA, using steel doors to block off water. (Photo: Basil John/WWAY)

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Buildings and shops on River Road always have to worry about flooding when a big storm comes around. For the new River Place, they were approved to not follow the typical protocol to deal with flooding.

In 2016, a representative for the city made a request to the board of adjustment so that River Place could be exempt from flood proofing requirements. Instead, it would use a different method approved by FEMA, using steel doors to block off water. Chairman Ronald Sparks says anyone who operates on River Road knows the cons of the area.

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“On Water Street, everything goes underwater. I mean, it’s in the name. There’s not a situation down here where you can consider, ‘well you know, maybe it won’t flood.’ No you on water street, it’s going to flood. So it’s just a matter of making sure you design your building to accommodate the known flooding event that’s going to happen,” Sparks said.

Sparks says there are other buildings in downtown that follow the same protocol and says this method does not affect insurance rates either.