(This blog post has been updated on April 23rd, 2019, originally posted in March, 2017. All of the links are still live and information is still relevant.)
If you own a home in the Charleston area or are shopping for one then the new Charleston county flood maps may affect you directly. Using new technology and more precise data collection methods, the new flood maps were updated based on recent growth and updated weather and environmental changes in the Charleston area. The new Charleston county flood maps were created through a partnership between Charleston county, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), and the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources (SCDNR).
Flood Zone Updates In Charleston
After the historic flooding during the fall of 2015, the focus on flood prone areas, flood insurance and accurate flood maps became a hot topic in the Lowcountry. The goal of updating this map was to provide the most accurate flood information to the public and to help protect the community from future flood risks. These new re-drawn maps assess the risk of flooding based on the most recent weather data which may directly affect insurance costs.
The new Charleston County flood maps are only in a preliminary phase and are not expected to be finalized until sometime in 2018 or 2019. However, there are signs that costs will probably go up for more homeowners than what will be reduced. Carl Simmons, director of the Charleston County Building Inspection Services, said “We think there will be more going in than out” in reference to those being added to flood zones.
New Maps May Mean New Costs
Those homeowners who were not in a flood zone before may now find themselves in a higher risk area. While those who were included in a flood zone previously may be in a lower risk area now. The cost of flood insurance will depend on which flood zone your home is in according to the updated flood map. In some cases, you may be required to buy flood insurance, even if you didn’t have it before, if your mortgage lender is federally regulated or insured.
You can view the latest preliminary Charleston County flood map here: Preliminary Charleston County FEMA Flood map.
For more information on what each flood zone means in the city of Charleston check out their official flood zone information page: City of Charleston flood zones. You can also use FEMA’s Flood Map service to search for any address’s flood map and access FEMA’s other flood resources here: FEMA Flood Map Service Center.
Attend An Upcoming “Flood Map Open House” There will be 3 “flood map open houses” to discuss what the new Charleston County flood maps mean for Lowcountry residents. There will be a variety of experts and specialists who will be on hand to answer questions related to insurance, engineering and building permits. Charleston County Building Services also has a new hotline for questions: 843-202-6957.