Horry County leaders discuss new proposed flood maps

Grand Strand

HORRY COUNTY, SC (WBTW)- Horry County has new proposed flood maps and Tuesday county leaders talked about the changes and their possible impacts.

It’s been 16 years since flood maps in Horry County were adopted. The new proposed flood maps place more properties near the Intracoastal Waterway and the Waccamaw River in flood zones while some properties along the coast line were taken out of a flood zone.

County leaders took a look at maps which compare the preliminary flood maps from 2015 to this year’s proposed maps.

The maps place more properties in Conway, Socastee, and Bucksport in flood zones. Those areas saw major flooding during Hurricane Florence. FEMA and SCDNR put together the proposed maps. SCDNR said these maps are not based on specific storm events.

Back in 2015, FEMA issued preliminary flood maps for Horry County, but county officials believed they had significant errors.

“We want to make sure that we’re dealing with what we believe is the most reasonable and accurate mapping system,” said Tom Garigen, Horry County Stormwater Manager.

The county then hired a consultant which they say justified their concerns and new models were used.

“Making it more accurate I think we’re just tyring to be fair to people. You shouldn’t be in a flood zone based on an inaccurate or poor modeling system. It’s just not right,” said Garigen.

Officials said the purpose of these maps is for people to know if they need flood insurance. Even if you don’t live in a high risk zone, most homeowners insurance does not cover flood damage.

News 13 asked what the maps may mean for new development.

“That will be a political decision by the council as to how you want to utilize these new maps and how they will impact future land development and decisions,” said Garigen.

“We don’t want to have extreme development inside a flood zone. Folks will be made aware before they buy a property or build on it that it is inside an active flood zone,” said county councilman Al Allen.

Officials said overall there are fewer parcels in flood zones in the newest maps compared to 2015. The next step is a 90 day appeal period, and it could be up to a year for the maps to be officially adopted. If they are, officials said it probably will be another 10 to 15 years before we see new ones.

To find out if your home is in a proposed flood zone click here: https://www.horrycounty.org/Online-Services/FEMA-Flood-Maps

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