Flood Hazard Outreach Project
The Town is participating in a Community Rating System (CRS) project in an effort to obtain better flood insurance rates for all properties located within the town limits. One requirement of this participation is for Town government to publish annually certain information pertinent to the local flood hazard, the availability of flood insurance, and/or flood protection methods.
If you own property in the Town of Edisto Beach, you will experience flooding during a hurricane. This is to inform residents and owners of flood hazards and suggested actions that may be taken to protect people and property before and after a storm.
History: Edisto Beach is a coastal town. Unfortunately, living along the coast has risks by way of flooding that is hazardous to property and life. The following major flood producing storms have affected Edisto Beach in the past 100 years or so. An unnamed storm in 1893 with a tide of 17.0 to 19.5 feet above Mean Sea Level (MSL), Hurricane of 1940 with a tide surge of 14.2 feet MSL, Hurricane Hazel in 1954 caused minimal damage, Hurricane Gracie in 1959 with a tide surge of 11.9 feet MSL. Hurricane Hugo in 1989 caused minimal damage. The chances of hurricanes and tropical storms are most prevalent from June 1st through November 30th. August and September are the most active months for tropical storm activity. Winter and spring storms bring high winds and waves that cause flooding and coastal erosion.
The local flood hazard: Edisto Beach is in a Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA) as determined by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and shown on the Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM). Whether you are in an "A" Zone or a High Hazard "V" Zone, it is in the SFHA and subject to flooding. A detailed flood map is on file at Town Hall that identifies the flood plain and is also available by clicking the following link Adopted Preliminary Map as of March 9th, 2017. Edisto Beach is subject to flooding during the following: hurricanes, heavy storms or extreme high tides particularly for properties close to the oceanfront. If you need assistance determining which flood zone your property is located, please contact Town Hall with the Lot and Block number or Street Address for a free map determination. The Town Building Department maintains elevation certificates on many structures locating within the Town limits.
The flood warning system: Emergency Messages are broadcast via Cable Channel 2 upon any flood-threatening emergency. The radio station to tune to for Edisto Beach and Colleton County is WALLY (93.7 FM). Should an evacuation be advised, local officials will notify you through these medium plus through activation of the Municipal Operations Center and disseminate an evacuation notice door to door with bulletins which denote "What to Do", "When to Do it", and "Where to Go". Evacuation routes will be clearly marked with signs and evacuees will be directed to shelters by law enforcement at traffic control intersections. The local contact phone number is (843) 869-2505. Please call in reference to evacuation notices, procedures and shelters.
Flood safety: If evacuating, take with you: important papers, prescription medicines, glasses, first aid kit, non-perishable food, blankets and pillows, flashlights and extra batteries, portable radio and extra batteries, a change of clothes, toiletry items, books, magazines, games, etc. On leaving, shut off electricity at the breaker terminal, and gas system at outside source. Lock all doors and windows. Fill you car's fuel tank and make preparations when a Hurricane Watch is issued or you are otherwise advised, in case a quick evacuation should be necessary. Leave early, in daylight if possible. Drive carefully, using recommended evacuation routes. Take extra precaution if you are told to leave at night. Night darkness hides flooded roadways.
Flood insurance: Your homeowner's insurance policy will not cover losses due to flooding. Edisto Beach participates in the National Flood Insurance Program which makes flood insurance available to everyone in the town. Information about flood insurance can be obtained from your insurance agent. Property owners can insure their buildings and contents and renters can insure their possessions. Just because your house has not flooded in the recent past does not mean that you are safe. There is a thirty (30) day waiting period before a flood insurance policy takes effect, so you should call your agent now. Owners subject to repetitive losses may seek financial assistance through FEMA's "Increased Cost of Compliance Coverage". Information on this ICC program is available at Town Hall. Flood Insurance policyholders high-risk areas can get up to $20,000 to help pay the costs to bring their home or business into compliance with the Town's floodplain ordinance.
Property protection measures: There are ways to retrofit a house to minimize flood damage. Information is available through the Building Official at Town Hall during normal working hours free of charge. The Building Inspector has available the â€œGuide to Selecting Architectural and Engineering Services and Contractors for Retrofitting Flood-Prone Buildingsâ€. This information is also available at the Library, phone (843) 869-2499. During the threat of an impending flood situation there are emergency measures that can also be taken to minimize damage such as moving furniture to the highest level in the house. Elevating non-elevated structures and pre-FIRM structures to current FIRM standards can mitigate property losses.
Flood plain development permits requirements: All developments in the Town (not just construction of buildings) need local or state permits. Contact the Town Building Official before you build, fill, or otherwise develop for advice. Should you suspect illegal flood plain development, also contact the Town Building Official. If you have questions, contact the staff at Town Hall.
Substantial Improvements: Any repairs or improvements to existing structures that equal or exceed 48% of the value of the structure, over a five (5) year period, must conform to current building and flood regulations which might involve elevating the entire structure above the Base Flood Elevation (BFE).
Drainage Maintenance: Drainage system maintenance within the town limits is accomplished cooperatively with Town, County and Department of Transportation. Maintenance inspections are performed at least twice a year. If you notice drainage problems, please contact Town Hall at (843) 869-2505 so they can be corrected. Also, the Town has adopted an ordinance which makes it unlawful to dump, deposit, or otherwise cause any trash, landscape debris or other material to be placed in any stream, channel, ditch, pond or basin that regularly or periodically carries or stores water. Violations of this ordinance are a misdemeanor and punishable by a fine up to $500.00 and/or 30 days imprisonment.
Natural and Beneficial Functions: Edisto Beach is a beautiful place to live, and the flood plains are an important asset. The undisturbed marshes and wetlands provide a wide range of benefits to the human and natural systems.
They provide flood storage and conveyance, reduce flood velocities, and flood peaks. Water quality is improved through the marshes and wetlands ability to filter nutrients and impurities from runoff and process organic wastes.
Groundwater recharge benefits include the promotion of infiltration and aquifer recharge and the ability to reduce frequency and duration of low surface flows. The local marshes and wetlands provide breeding and feeding grounds for fish and wildlife, create and enhance waterfowl habitat and protect habitats for rare and endangered species. These areas support a high rate of plant growth and maintain bio-diversity and the integrity of the ecosystem. The flood plain areas provide open space, aesthetic pleasure, and areas for active and passive uses. Signage has been installed near the dunes which has resulted in improvement of the health of the dunes. Additional studies are underway on the subject of improving dune viability.
Flood Hazard Areas: As the following map link shows, Adopted Preliminary Map as of March 9th, 2017, if your property is located within the municipal town limits, your property is located in a Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA). Official Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRM) offer more detail of flood hazard areas and are available for review at Town Hall. For answers to questions about flood hazards at Edisto Beach, to review Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRM).
Now that I know what zone my property is in what does the zone determination mean?
There are only three zones in the Town of Edisto Beach:
1. Zone AE is the flood insurance rate zones that correspond to the 100 year floodplains that are determined in the Flood Insurance Study (FIS) by detailed methods. In most instances, BFEs derived from the detailed hydraulic analyses are shown at selected intervals within this zone. Mandatory flood insurance purchase requirements apply.
2. Zone VE is the flood insurance rate zone that corresponds to the 100 year coastal floodplains that have additional hazards associated with storm waves. BFEs derived from the detailed hydraulic analyses are shown at selected intervals within this zone. Mandatory flood insurance purchase requirements apply.
3. Zone X is the flood insurance rate zones that correspond to areas outside the 100 year floodplains, areas of 100 year sheet flow flooding where average depths are less than one foot, areas of 100 year stream flooding where the contributing drainage area is less than one square mile, or areas protected from the 100 year flood by levees. No BFEs or depths are shown within this zone.
You can find out the risk of your property by visiting www.FloodSmart.gov/highrisk.
To find out more about the differences between the insurance and floodplain management click here.