By Jennifer Tuohy, Island Eye News Contributing Editor
They’ve been nearly a decade in the generating but they’re ultimately right here. The new Federal Emergency Management Agency flood maps go into impact on Jan. 29, 2021, and will imply reduce insurance coverage prices for island property owners, as effectively as potentially reduce creating elevation specifications.
“This is going to save a lot of persons a lot of income on flood insurance coverage,” Randy Robinson, creating 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 basically 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 needed,” he mentioned.
On Isle of Palms, the new maps similarly location some regions of the island out of the one hundred-year flood plain and lots 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 needed to have flood insurance coverage, which is primarily based incrementally on how higher your home is above the flood plain. These maps reduce that point by as substantially as 7 feet in areas, which means that if you had been two feet above the flood plain, you’d now be 9 feet above it.
Created via 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 come to be readily available. Nevertheless, Charleston County’s new maps have been delayed nearly a decade. Whilst drafts had been released in 2016, two appeals on Kiawah Island held them up one more 4 years.
The new maps also influence base flood elevation specifications on new building, substantially lowering them in some regions. IOP anticipated this alter and recognized the new minimum specifications would enable the building of houses with floors 1 to two feet under the flood levels skilled for the duration of Hurricane Hugo.
“In 2018 the city proactively enacted a minimum normal that needed all new building to have a completed floor no reduce than 14 feet above imply sea level,” mentioned Fragoso, “which is about 1 foot above the elevation of Hurricane Hugo’s floodwaters.”
Whilst your home may well be in a unique flood zone beginning in January, that is no assure your property will not flood.
“These maps are primarily based on receiving a 1% storm they’re essentially what Hugo did to us,” mentioned Robinson. “But if we had been to be in the northeast quadrant of a storm like that – like McClellanville was – then your home would nonetheless get flooded. It is safer to go larger. It is normally safer to go larger.”
The Sullivan’s Island Organizing Commission will meet Sept. 9 to talk about amending the foundation height regulations of its zoning ordinance.
“We are seeking at some modifications,” mentioned 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 need to have to be some modifications.”