Ken Larsen's web site - Ephesus-Fordham Flooding Issues


Severe floods have struck Chapel Hill six times since 1972:

Below is a link to video and pictures from the flood of June 30, 2013.  The common response from Town Council members has been:  “The low lying properties should never have been built.  They were developed in the 1960s – prior to being annexed by Chapel Hill and before flood zone regulations came into being (1970s).”  I agree 100% with that assessment, but unfortunately we can’t go back in time and rectify that mistake.


Video of flooding in downtown Chapel Hill Colonial Arms apartments
Video of flooding on Grove Street June 30, 2013 [taken by Kim Cusic] Briarcliff

Ridgewood Pool Club in Briarcliff

June 30, 2013



South end of Emory Drive


June 30, 2013


Note the two mailboxes.  The house of Martha and David Dill belongs to the one on the left.



FEMA flood map showing the Dill's house marked with an X.

Blue shows the 100 year flood zone. Yellow shows 500 year flood zone.  I highlighted the main roads in black. 

1547 Ephesus Church Road

Colony Woods

June 30, 2013


This is near Little Creek tributary 3 in the FEMA maps.


1100 Willow Drive


June 30, 2013

FEMA map with  main streets marked in black, and X marking the location of 1100 Willow Drive. 

Blue = 100 year flood zone.

500 Longleaf


June 30, 2013



Flood Risk Information Map.
(See )

Blue = 100 year flood zone. 

Yellow = 500 year flood. 

Red = proposed new roads

X marks a house that "could not be built under current Chapel Hill rules" per Council member Ed Harrison.

Has the Town received permission from FEMA and the State to bisect the flood plain with the new roads?
(May 3, 2014) Sandbags ready for use by Eastgate merchants.  There was a flash flood warning a few days earlier.  The storm water system under Eastgate easily overflows, so merchants are quick to get sandbags out.

Per the previous FEMA map, Eastgate lies in a 100 year flood zone.  By today's standards it would be zoned RCD (Resource Conservation District); however, the Town wants to up-zone it to 7 stories.  This is insanity, in my opinion.


Lastly, it should be noted that there are nine significant development projects in the pipeline that are all in the Booker Creek watershed, upstream of E/F, and all will significantly increase impervious surface:


Impervious surface

(square feet)

ABC Store                                         


American Board of Pediatrics addition


Carolina North


Central West


Charterwood (site of Booker Creek Headwaters)


Children's Campus     





Up to 20% increase



IFC Transitional Housing addition


Timber Hollow expansion                 


Weaver Crossing


Total: 1,195,000


Ken Larsen's home page

Ephesus/Fordham project