FEMA has published revised Flood Maps for the Charleston area that will change the ground elevations that have been the basis for our flood insurance designations and rates. The new maps are based on more precise methods for measuring ground elevation. They are “preliminary” until they have gone through a process of review and comment.
Charleston County is sponsoring Public Open Houses on March 20, 21, and 22 for public review of the new FEMA Flood Maps. From the Charleston County announcement of these meetings:
“The new preliminary maps were produced through a partnership among Charleston County, the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources (SCDNR), and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). They are more precise than older maps because better flood hazard and risk data make the maps more accurate… Over time, flood risks change due to construction and development, environmental changes, floodplain widening or shifting, and other factors. Flood maps are updated periodically to reflect these changes.”
Charleston County’s website offers a link to the revised maps—
(Enter an address into the space labeled “Find address or place.” When the local map is displayed, click on any property address to learn its proposed Flood Zone and Base Flood Elevation designations.)
For flood map inquires, call 843-202-6957.
Sponsored by SCDNR and FEMA, the Public Open House events will provide an opportunity for attendees to view the new maps and ask questions of the FEMA insurance specialists and the engineers who completed the study; Charleston County Building Inspection Services staff will also be available to assist citizens with property information. Following the Public Open Houses, there will be a 90-day period for public comment, appeal, and complaint, and then FEMA will proceed to finalize the maps. FEMA expects finalization to be completed in 2018, at which time the maps will become the new basis for flood zone definitions and flood insurance calculations.
For those who wish to attend a Public Open House, our most local event will be held in West Ashley on March 21, from 3-7:00 PM at the CE Williams Middle School, 640 Butte Street, Charleston, SC. Other Open Houses will be held in:
- North Charleston on March 20, from 2-7:00 PM at the Council Chambers of the Lonnie Hamilton Building, 4045 Bridge View Drive, North Charleston
- Mount Pleasant on March 22, from 2-7:00 PM at Alhambra Hall, 131 Middle Street, Mount Pleasant
For background information on development of the new Flood Insurance Rate Maps, follow this link to a January Seabrooker article:
-Submitted by Skip Crane, Town of Seabrook Island