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Flood insurance was far from Stephanie Walker’s mind in 2015 when she moved her family into a home in Fayetteville in central North Carolina, nearly 200 miles (320 km) from the coast.

The next year, a creek at the end of her street swelled during Hurricane Matthew, sending several feet of water into her living room. Without flood insurance, the family spent $70,000 on repairs. The U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency covered $25,000 but the family had to borrow the rest for her home.

The houses on the street were built in 2005. Matthew was the first storm that caused flooding, but the fear of another flood is causing greater anxiety.

“This street should be demolished. Houses never should have been put here,” said Walker, 41.

After Matthew, the family bought flood insurance and felt protected when the waters touched their doorstep again during Hurricane Florence.

But they are a rarity. Only about 1 percent of homes in North Carolina’s inland counties are insured through the national floodinsurance program, according to federal data, compared with 25 percent to 50 percent of homeowners on the coast.

FEMA’s National Flood Insurance Program supplements regular homeowner policies, which do not generally include flood damage. For homeowners who do not buy the flood insurance, federal aid generally only partially covers repairs.

The average national flood insurance policy, which tops out at $250,000, costs about $700 per year, but varies depending on the elevation of the home, according to FEMA. Homeowners can buy supplemental insurance policies for more valuable homes through private insurers.

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