New flood maps discussed | News | The Press and Standard
by The Press and Standard | March 31, 2016 5:00 pm
Last Updated: March 30, 2016 at 12:54 pm
Will your flood insurance rate potentially be going up or down? Residents found out on March 28 in Walterboro or March 29 on Edisto Beach.
Newly revised preliminary digital flood insurance rate maps for Colleton County were available for residents to review at two public open house meetings from 4-7 p.m. on Monday March 28 at Colleton County Council Chambers, and Tuesday, March 29 at the Town of Edisto Beach.
Flood maps show the extent to which areas are at risk for flooding, and are used to help determine flood insurance and building requirements.
The open house provided residents of Colleton County and its municipalities the opportunity to see the preliminary maps, learn about their risk of flooding, and ask questions about what the new maps will mean for their property. Residents had the chance to one-on-one with a variety of specialists who were available to talk about flood insurance, engineering, building permits and more. Community officials, FEMA Representatives, the Engineering Study Contractor and Insurance Representatives were on hand to answer questions about flood risk changes and review the proposed new flood maps. They also helped residents and businesses determine if their property may be subject to any related insurance requirements and explain how property owners affected by the change may be able to reduce future insurance costs.
The new preliminary maps were produced through a partnership among Colleton County, the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources, and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). They are more precise than older maps because better flood hazard and risk data make the maps more accurate. The ultimate goal is protecting property owners and the community from the risks associated with flooding. Over time, flood risks change due to construction and development, environmental changes, floodplain widening or shifting, and other factors. Flood maps are updated periodically to reflect these changes.
Home and business owners, renters, realtors, mortgage lenders, surveyors and insurance agents are potentially affected by the changes.
Colleton County’s preliminary maps have not yet been officially adopted and will become effective after a public comment period. This period allows the public to submit comments and appeals if they can show that any part of the maps is in error. Once all comments are received and addressed, Colleton County may adopt the maps.
By law, federally regulated or insured mortgage lenders require flood insurance on properties that are located in areas at high risk of flooding. Standard homeowners’, business owners’, and renters’ insurance policies typically don’t cover flood damage, so flood insurance is an important consideration for everyone. Flood insurance policies can be purchased from any state-licensed property and casualty insurance agent. Visit www.floodsmart.gov for more information about flood insurance and to locate a local agent.