By Jennifer Tuohy, Island Eye News Contributing Editor
They’ve been nearly a decade in the creating but they’re lastly right here. The new Federal Emergency Management Agency flood maps go into impact on Jan. 29, 2021, and will imply reduced insurance coverage prices for island home owners, as properly as potentially reduced developing elevation needs.
“This is going to save a lot of folks a lot of funds on flood insurance coverage,” Randy Robinson, developing official with the Town of Sullivan’s Island, told The Island Eye News.
“Prior to this, half the island was in a V zone [the most hazardous] now 95% will be in an A zone.”
A handful of properties will essentially be out of the flood zone completely.
“All the old Officers’ Quarters on Ion Avenue are now in an X zone, exactly where flood insurance coverage is not even necessary,” he stated.
On Isle of Palms, the new maps similarly location some regions of the island out of the one hundred-year flood plain and a lot of other individuals into a designation that would establish a base flood elevation requirement of ten feet above sea level, IOP City Administrator Desirée Fragoso told The Island Eye News.
Residences at higher danger of flooding that have a federally regulated mortgage are necessary to have flood insurance coverage, which is primarily based incrementally on how higher your house is above the flood plain. These maps reduced that point by as a lot as 7 feet in areas, which means that if you have been two feet above the flood plain, you’d now be 9 feet above it.
Made by means of a partnership amongst Charleston County, the South Carolina Division of Organic Sources and FEMA, flood maps are meant to be updated periodically as greater flood hazard and danger information grow to be out there. Nevertheless, Charleston County’s new maps have been delayed nearly a decade. Whilst drafts have been released in 2016, two appeals on Kiawah Island held them up yet another 4 years.
The new maps also influence base flood elevation needs on new building, substantially lowering them in some regions. IOP anticipated this adjust and recognized the new minimum needs would permit the building of residences with floors 1 to two feet beneath the flood levels skilled in the course of Hurricane Hugo.
“In 2018 the city proactively enacted a minimum normal that necessary all new building to have a completed floor no reduced than 14 feet above imply sea level,” stated Fragoso, “which is about 1 foot above the elevation of Hurricane Hugo’s floodwaters.”
Whilst your house may well be in a distinctive flood zone beginning in January, that is no assure your residence will not flood.
“These maps are primarily based on receiving a 1% storm they’re fundamentally what Hugo did to us,” stated Robinson. “But if we have been to be in the northeast quadrant of a storm like that – like McClellanville was – then your property would nevertheless get flooded. It is safer to go greater. It is constantly safer to go greater.”
The Sullivan’s Island Arranging Commission will meet Sept. 9 to talk about amending the foundation height regulations of its zoning ordinance.
“We are seeking at some adjustments,” stated Robinson. “When you take homes that had to be constructed eight feet off the ground that now only have to be two feet off, there’s going to require to be some adjustments.”