FEMA Video Explaining Floodplains
Flood Elevation Certificates
Hurricane Preparedness Presentation given on July 16, 2015
Current Floodplain/Zoning Map
Preliminary Floodplain Map 9/2015
Floodplain Management assists customers in meeting the requirements of the Town of Surfside Beach’s Flood Damage Prevention Ordinance and the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP).
The Planning, Building and Zoning Department is the contact for all the flood information for the Town, including Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRMs), Elevation Certificates (ECs) and Flood Insurance Studies.
This office is also responsible for the Community Rating System (CRS) information. CRS is a voluntary program, which, based on activities performed by the community determines a discount from 5 percent to 40 percent on flood insurance rates. Currently, the Town of Surfside Beach is a CRS Class 5 and we receive a 25 percent discount on our local flood insurance premiums. The town engages in many activities that could lead to a lower CRS classification in the future.
The following information can be obtained from the Planning, Building and Zoning Department
- Flood Map Determinations and an explanation of your risk to flooding
- Copies of Elevation Certificates (ECs)
- Copies of Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRMs)
- Requirements for Construction in a Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA)
- Substantial Damage Determinations
Please contact the Director of Planning, Building and Zoning or the Building Official at (843) 913-6341 for more information.
NOAA hosts an excellent resource for the southeast's river forecast. By interacting with their map, you can check current and predicted water levels for many regions within Horry County.
View Real-Time Gage Information
Benefits of Flood Insurance
If you are in a flood hazard area or in an area subject to flooding, purchase federal flood insurance. It provides coverage that most homeowner’s insurance doesn't - coverage for damage to structures and contents from flooding, flood-related erosion, and flood-caused mudslides. Renters can also buy policies to protect their personal property.
Eligibility & Coverage
You are eligible for federal flood insurance because the Town of Surfside Beach, SC participates in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), administered by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). If the Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM) shows that a property is in a Special Flood Hazard Area, which includes all A-zones, flood insurance is required by law in order to get federally secured financing to buy, build, or improve structures on that property.
Maximum flood insurance coverage is $250,000 for residential properties and $500,000 for commercial properties with content coverage maxing out at $100,000 coverage for residential properties and $500,000 for commercial properties. The standard flood insurance policy provides coverage for one structure per policy. The only exception is 10 percent coverage for a detached garage. However, the total payment for flood damage to the detached garage and the house together cannot exceed the structure policy limit. For coverage to apply, the garage can only be used for parking and storage. Any other use would void this coverage; for example, if the garage has a workshop, the coverage would not apply. All other structures on the premises need separate coverage. There is generally a 30-day waiting period once you apply, so don’t wait until a flood is coming to apply for flood insurance coverage. Flood insurance can be purchased from any licensed property or casualty insurance agent, broker, or company.
Special Flood Hazard Areas
In the Town of Surfside Beach, SC, the purchase of flood insurance on a voluntary basis is wise even outside Special Flood Hazard Areas. In fact, some lenders and mortgage companies require insurance in Shaded X Zones (areas between limits of the 100-year flood and 500-year flood, more commonly referred to as the 500 year floodplain or the 0.2% annual chance flood area), as well.
The Town of Surfside Beach Planning, Building and Zoning staff will check the official Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM) and tell you whether your property is in a Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA).
To find a local insurance agent please click here
Drainage Systems Maintenance
How Drainage Affects Flood Prevention
Flood prevention efforts depend on the community's cooperation and assistance. Grass clippings, branches, leaves, debris, and trash can accumulate and block natural and man-made drainage channels. For example, a plugged drainage channel, catch basin, ditch, detention pond, or drainage pipe cannot carry water away from your property during heavy rainfall events.
Every piece of trash and debris in the drainage system contributes to flooding. If your property is next to a drainage ditch, catch basin, detention pond or any other drainage system please do your part to keep the area clear of brush and debris.
If you see dumping or major blockages such as downed trees in drainage areas, contact the Public Works Department at 843-913-6360.
Did you know the town has an ordinance on Drainage Ditch maintenance on your property?
Sec. 7-43. - Drainage Ditches: It shall be unlawful for any property owner within the town to allow drainage ditches on his property to become obstructed so as to back up water on property owned by anyone else, including property owned by the town. Upon failure of the owner, after notice, to keep such drainage ditches open the town shall abate the condition at the expense of the owner.
DID YOU KNOW the town has a "No Dumping" ordinance?
Sec. 14-56. - Prohibitions and illicit connections.
(1) It is unlawful for any person, company, corporation, etc., to throw, drain, run, or otherwise discharge to any component of the town's stormwater system, including streets, highways, rights-of-way, or to cause, permit or suffer to be thrown, drain, run, or allow to seep or otherwise discharge into such system, any organic or inorganic matter that shall cause or tend to cause pollution or blockages to such waters, as provided for in this article.
(2) In the event of an accidental discharge to the town drainage system of any material or substance other than stormwater runoff, the person concerned shall inform the town building department immediately of the nature, quantity and time of occurrence of the discharge. The person concerned shall take immediate steps to contain, treat or take other actions to minimize the effects of the discharge on the town drainage system and receiving streams. The person shall also take immediate steps to ensure no recurrence of the discharge.
(b) Illicit connections.
(1) It is unlawful for any person, company, corporation, etc., to connect any pipe, open channel, or any other conveyance system to the town drainage system that discharges anything except stormwater discharges that are identified on the approved stormwater management and sediment control plan.
(2) Improper connections in violation of this article must be disconnected and redirected to an acceptable outlet, as approved by the director of public works.
The Planning, Building and Zoning Department can provide flood information services for all properties within the town limits. Items our office can specifically help with are:
FIRM Map information - We can help you determine if properties are located within a Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA).
Historical Flood Information - We have information on specific areas in town that have had repetitive flooding and can provide you with information specifically for property located within the of the repetitive flood areas.
Natural/Protected Floodplain Areas - We can provide you with information if a property is located within or near a natural or protected floodplain area and what the potential impact could be to the surrounding area.
Elevation Certificates/Letter of Map Amendments/Letter of Map Revisions - We have copies of these that are available to view and provide copies. We also provide assistance in preparing paperwork for submission for Letter of Map Amendments/Revisions to FEMA.
The Town of Surfside Beach is concerned about flooding and provides these services to help protect property and citizens. Please look over the information and contact us if we can be of any help.
View floodplain information for your property from the FEMA Map Service Center: Search By Address at https://msc.fema.gov/portal/search. Need assistance? We're here to help! Contact our office at 843-913-6341.
Do you have a professional, civic, or neighborhood group that wants to learn more about flood risks in your area and what you can do to lower your personal and community risk? The town is fortunate to have four certified floodplain managers that will speak with your group on a wide variety of topics dealing with floodplain issues.
Links and information that are essential when preparing for and tracking hurricanes and other tropical depressions.
Disaster Plan for Pets
Attention Insurance Agents
The Write Your Own (WYO) Program
April 2017 National Flood Insurance Program Changes (Premium Increases and Surcharges)
FEMA Flood Insurance Manual
Flood Hazard Information & Warning System
CodeRED Emergency Notification System Update
Want to sign up for CodeRED alerts? Click here
Right To Appeal/ Request Variance
You have a right to appeal any decision of the Code Enforcement Official in regards to the interpretation of the Flood Damage Prevention Ordinance.
If you feel the interpretation of the Flood Damage Prevention Ordinance has been misinterpreted you have a right to appeal. The appeal will be held in front of the Construction Board of Appeal. The board will hold a public hearing where you will present your case and any documentation relevant to the appeal. (see below for application for appeal of the code enforcement official),
You also have a right to request a variance from the strict Interpretation of the Flood Damage Prevention Ordinance.
This request will also be presented to the Construction Board of Appeals. The minimum floodplain requirements for communities participating in the NFIP (National Flood Insurance Program) are designed to ensure the practice of sound floodplain management. To grant a variance from the floodplain ordinance, in addition to meeting the requirements set out by State law, the community must determine:
- Good and sufficient case and exceptional hardship exist;
- The variance will not result in additional threats to public safety, extraordinary public expense, or fraud or victimization of the public; and
- The variance is the minimum action necessary to afford relief.
If the required standards of State law and local ordinance are closely adhered to, granting variances from the floodplain ordinance should be rare. Additionally, where a variance is granted, some level of flood protection and hazard mitigation should always be required.
Flood Damage Prevention Variance/Appeal Form