Flood map changes coming for Charleston County residents

CHARLESTON COUNTY, SC (WCSC) - If you live in Charleston County your flood zone could change because of improved flood maps. 

It could cost you more or save you on insurance.

The county is holding meetings next week where you could find out about changes to your property. This will help keep residents prepared for unexpected flooding. 

Angelia Saunders lives in Hickory Hill Plantation. Her street was one of the few areas that flooded in the neighborhood. 

"I always wanted to live on the water and our back yard backs up to the creek in the neighborhood, but I never expected to have waterfront property," Saunders said.

Her back yard looked like a lake and her front yard was flooded as well after heaving rainfall last October.  She's lives in a flood zone and has flood insurance so she was prepared for the worst.

"The water came up to our knees we were lucky it didn't come to the front door," Saunders said.

Charleston County officials say flood maps were last updated in 2004. Next week county residents will get a first look at new flood map plans that could go in effect next year.

Charleston County's Director of Building Services, Carl Simmons, says new technology contributed to the improved maps. 

"No question it will be some people that will be added to the flood zone there will be some that will be removed," Simmons said.

A change in flood zones could mean a change in your insurance policy. 

"Flood insurance is available even if you're not required to have it," Simmons said. "Federal government requires that if you have a mortgage you must have flood insurance."

FEMA insurance and DNR representatives along with consultants who prepared the maps will be at the meeting to explain changes. 

"If you see something on the maps that you don't like we have quite a period of time to actually go back and file appeals or complaints," Saunders said.

City officials say certain insurance policies like homeowners business owners and renter's insurance don't cover flood damage, so flood insurance is an important consideration for everyone.  

"Normally I would think that I wouldn't need it because who would think that the water would rise that high, but knowing now what I've gone through the last few years I would definitely want to keep it and encourage people that if they live close to the water to definitely get it." Saunders said.

There will be three open house meetings next week on these new flood maps.

  • North Charleston, March 20
    • 2 p.m. to 7 p.m.
    • Lonnie Hamilton, III Public Services Building, Council Chambers, 2nd Floor
    • 4045 Bridge View Drive
  • City of Charleston, March 21
    • 3 p.m. to 7 p.m.
    • CE Williams Middle School
    • 640 Butte Street
  • Mount Pleasant, March 22
    • 2 p.m. to 7 p.m.
    • Alhambra Hall
    • 131 Middle Street

If you aren't able to attend you can go online and find out about the changes or you contact the city directly to find out how the changes could impact you.

Charleston County Building Services has established a hotline to assist with citizen's questions. You can call 843-202-6957 and leave a message with your
question and contact information.

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