2015 CRS Community Outreach. City of Folly Beach, South Carolina Flood Plain Management Offices PO Box 48 Folly Beach, SC ext 1838

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1 City of Folly Beach, South Carolina Flood Plain Management Offices PO Box 48 Folly Beach, SC ext 1838 The dark line around this map delineates the extent of the Special Flood Hazard Area. If you own property or live inside the City limits of Folly Beach you are in an SFHA and can potentially suffer from flood related damage CRS Community Outreach

2 FLOODING AND FOLLY BEACH All properties within the City of Folly Beach are subject to flooding. Our entire island is designated as a Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA). 1 A SFHA is defined by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) as having at least a one percent chance of suffering flood damage each year. Folly Beach is a barrier island and is subject to flooding from the Atlantic Ocean, the Folly River, hurricanes, and even heavy rains. Problem areas such as East Indian Avenue, East Cooper Avenue, 9 th St West Extension, 3 rd Block West Ashley Avenue, and East Arctic Avenue are well known. However, even if your property isn t affected by major rain events, no part of the City is flood proof. In the event of a major hurricane such as Hugo, the entire island could be under as much as 10 feet of water. If you live in the City of Folly Beach there is likelihood that at some point your property will be affected by flooding. Please read this brochure carefully for information on protecting your property, floodplain management, and what to do in case of a flood. WHERE TO START 1) The first step in flood education is to determine what flood zone your property is in. FEMA distributes Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRMs) for all communities. The FIRM has information regarding the historical flood heights in different areas. The City of Folly Beach maintains current FIRMs and can tell you what zone you are in City Flood Services The City of Folly Beach provides all parties with information regarding floods. If you need to know your flood zone, have questions about flood protection, or have experienced flood damage the City Flood Plain Management Offices at or Please check out flood information on our website at City Hall and the Folly Beach Public Library also has a variety of materials available. 2) After you have determined what flood zone you are in, you need to evaluate your flood hazard. If your property is in a A Zone it is subject to rising water. If your property is in a V Zone it will be affected not only by rising water, but possible wave action and scour as well. Upon request, the Flood Plain Manager will review your property and discuss potential flood problems and methods of protection. 3) If you buy or build a home of Folly Beach you may be required to purchase Flood Insurance. Standard homeowner insurance policies DO NOT insure against floods. The City of Folly Beach participates in the National Flood Insurance program and is part of the Community Rating System. Because of our participation, homeowners in the City receive a deduction on premiums. Information of flood insurance can be obtained at the NFIP website. For information on specific policies, contact a local insurance agent. What Does Flood Insurance it Cover? Flood Insurance can be purchased to cover the building, the contents of a building, or both the building and its contents. It is important to remember that the National Flood Insurance Program requires a 30-day waiting period between the purchase of a policy and the time it goes into effect. 1

3 FLOOD PREPARATION AND SAFETY If you know that your property is subject to flooding there are several things you can do to protect your investment. 2 F loodproofing existing and new structures can greatly reduce the damage from rising waters. The City Flood Plain Manager can give more information on which methods might be best for your property. Waterproofing/Damp Proofing: If you have an older house that sits very close to the ground, you may be able to waterproof your home by using a sealant around the lower portions of your walls and affixing watertight seals to any doors or windows. Elevation: Because the island is subject to extreme flooding, raising your home is the most effective way to reduce property damage. Homes near the middle of the island may only need to be elevated a few feet while those on front beach can be as high as twenty (15) feet above the ground. Before Starting any Work Any new construction or alterations made to your property in order to make it more flood worthy will require the property approvals and permits from City Hall. If you are getting ready to work, or would like recommendations on what to do, contact the Building Official via , WHEN FLOODS OCCUR In the event that you experience a flood event, use extreme caution. Floods can be deceptive and include many hazards that may not be readily apparent. 1. Do not walk through flowing water. Drowning is the number one cause of death during floods. Water that is only six inches deep can knock someone off his feet. If you walk through standing water use a pole or stick to check before you step. 2. Do not drive through a flooded area. Inside of cars is the most common place to drown in a flood. Do not drive around road barriers or through any flowing water. Two feet of water will float all but the largest cars. 3. Stay away from electrical wires. If you are still inside your home, make sure that you have shut off the electricity and gas if possible. Report any downed power lines immediately to SCE&G or the City at Electrocution is the second most common cause of flood related deaths. 4. Be alert. Flood waters create many additional hazards. Displaced wildlife may seek shelter in surviving structures, gas lines may rupture, debris such as broken bottles or nails may be scattered, and some buildings may be greatly weakened. It is important to be extra vigilant during and after any flood event. 2

4 LIVING IN THE FLOOPLAIN Living in flood prone areas requires certain adjustments in order to minimize the potential negative effects of flood events. 3 D Development in the flood zone is subject to a higher level of regulatory control than in other parts of the county. By reducing the effects of man made improvements, you can help reduce the severity of flooding. Dumping: The drains and ditches maintained by the Department of Public Works provide an important outlet to control flood waters. However, they cannot function properly if they are filled with trash and debris. Dumping yard waste, litter, and other materials is in violation of City Ordinance and could result in a citation and multiply fines. Maintaining: If your property is next to a stream, ditch, or drain please help by keeping the banks clear of overgrowth and debris. If you notice a blockage, call the City at x4 or to The Public Works department assess the situation and will remove any major debris free of charge. Monitoring: If you see someone dumping into a stream or ditch, call the Dispatch office at and request non-emergency assistance. If you see someone filling or grading a property without a permit please contact the Building Department immediately via phone at or to Investigating: Always check with the Building Department via before you build on, alter, regrade, or fill on your property. No work can be done in the City without the proper Storm Water permits. During the approval process the Storm Water Office can determine whether or not your project will cause problems on other properties. Always obtain permits Remember that any development on y our property may require a permit (even if you are not building). Working without the proper permits is a violation of City Ordinances and may result in a fine. If you see someone doing work without a permit please call Public Safety at or to NFIP REGULATIONS Perhaps one of the most important rules to remember when building or buying in an area subject to flooding is the National Flood Insurance Program s (NFIP) 50% rule. Basically this regulation requires that if reconstruction, additions, or improvements to a building equals or exceeds 50% of the building s (structure only) market value, then the building must be brought into compliance with the most current FEMA flood requirements. This is an extremely important law to take note of. Many of the homes on Folly Beach were constructed before the NFIP began. As a result, they no longer meet federal requirements. In the event of a fire or major storm these homes may be significantly damaged. If the damage exceeds half of the value of the structure, it cannot be repaired unless the entire building is brought up to code. The floodplains in the City of Folly Beach contain wetlands areas which function to moderate flooding, enhance water quality, recharge ground water, and shelter wildlife. The ocean front dunes on the island serve as a buffer to wave action and 3

5 lessen erosion. Protection of these areas is vital to maintain these functions. No activities that disturb beachfront dunes or wetlands should be undertaken with securing the proper permits. For any questions please Building Official and Flood Plain Manager- Zoning Administrator- 4

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