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Charleston County flood maps ready for public viewingMarch 14, 2017

Widespread flooding during October 2016 devastated homes and farms in the Pee Dee region of South Carolina

Widespread flooding during October 2016 devastated homes and farms in the Pee Dee region of South Carolina. Credit: SCDNR photo by Maria Cox

Newly revised preliminary digital flood insurance rate maps for Charleston County, S.C., will be available for residents to review at public open houses on March 20, 21 and 22, 2017, at the times and locations listed below. 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 houses will provide residents of Charleston County and its municipalities with 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 can meet one-on-one with a variety of specialists who will be available to talk about flood insurance, engineering, building permits and more.

The new preliminary maps were produced through a partnership among Charleston County, the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources (SCDNR) 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 encouraged to attend the open house. All who attend can meet with specialists to ask questions and learn more about flood risk and hazard mitigation within their communities.

Charleston 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, Charleston 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 donít 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.

The dates, times and locations for the scheduled open houses are:

3/20/17; 2 p.m. to 7 p.m.
North Charleston Public Services Building-Council Chambers
4045 Bridgeview Drive, North Charleston, SC 29405

3/21/17; 3 p.m. to 7 p.m.
CE Williams Middle School- Cafeteria
640 Butte St, Charleston, SC 29414

3/22/17; 2 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Alhambra Hall
131 Middle Street, Mt. Pleasant, SC 29464

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