BEAUFORT, S.C. (March 10, 2021) – The City of Beaufort’s Flood Damage Prevention Ordinance, updated to conform with the Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA) new flood maps, was approved by City Council’s March 9.
The new Flood Insurance Rate Maps, issued by FEMA and periodically updated, will take effect on March 23, 2021. These maps determine flood risks by zone for specific properties, and determine rates for the National Flood Insurance Program. The flood maps also determine building code requirements in the City of Beaufort to ensure that new buildings meet minimum elevation requirements. The current flood maps require sites in “A zones” to have a minimum finished floor elevation of 13 to 14 feet.
“The Flood Prevention Ordinance supports the flood maps,” said Bruce Skipper, chief building official. “The new maps show modeling based on the history of storms and storm surge. The new maps are based on storm data gathered from 2012-2016.”
The new maps are actually less stringent than the previous flood maps, Skipper said. The required minimum elevation’s in AE zones under the new maps range from 8 -12 feet based on a benchmark known as the 1988 North American Vertical Datum (NAVD). The City is taking a proactive approach to prevent flood damage by holding firm with the current minimum flood elevation requirements of 13 feet based on the 1988 NAVD, he said.
Skipper cautioned that property owners should continue to get flood insurance to protect themselves, even if the new flood maps show that they are no longer in a high flood zone.
To see the flood map for your property, go here: https://msc.fema.gov/portal/home
The City of Beaufort’s website has more information on flood zones, flood hazards, and flood preparation.
Flood zone categories