Frequently Asked Questions
Q. How can I determine if my property is in a Special Flood Hazard Area?
A. FEMA publishes maps indicating a county’s flood hazard and the degree of risk of those areas. The maps are available at the Office of Planning & Development, the County Library or by calling FEMA MAPPING at 1-877-336-2627.
Q. What is a flood hazard area and a floodway?
A. The flood hazard area is land that is likely to be covered by water during a certain flood event (storm) as determined by FEMA. The floodway is land that will be occupied by a moving current of water during a flood event, especially located along rivers and some streams. The floodway is the most dangerous part of a flood hazard area and has significant development limitations.
Q. What regulations apply to construction activities in the flood hazard area?
A. The County’s Flood Prevention Ordinance requires you follow specific construction standards for homes, mobile homes and non-residential structures based on the type of flood zone the property is located. It also applies if you place fill dirt on your property. Generally, residences or mobile homes will have to be elevated from the ground to a minimum height, known as the Base Flood Elevation plus one foot, to reduce flood damage. Non-residential buildings can be elevated or flood-proofed to prevent water from entering. If located in a floodway, you may be limited to what can be constructed or placed on the property. Accessory buildings or sheds are not exempt from flood regulations.
Q. If I am seeking a permit to build a structure or place a mobile home in a flood hazard area what information is needed for my permit?
A. The key document is an Elevation Certificate. It is a form that is filled out by a SC registered surveyor, engineer or architect that states your structure or mobile home is elevated to a minimum height to avoid potential flood damage.
Q. Do I have enough flood insurance?
A. Standard homeowner’s policies generally do not cover flood damage. You will need to obtain a separate policy. For flood policy information, contact an insurance agent or go to www.floodsmart.gov. Generally, there is a 30 day waiting period for a flood policy to become effective.