Flood Protection Information

Natural & Beneficial Functions of Local Floodplains
Floodplains and adjacent waters form a complex physical and biological system that can benefit both human and natural systems.  These benefits include helping to reduce the severity of floods, help handle stormwater runoff, and even filter out sediments and impurities from the floodwaters for better water quality.  The natural process of what the floodplains do for our community cost far less than building flood, stormwater, and water quality facilities.  Plus these floodplain areas in the City of Georgetown, like Morgan Park, can even serve recreational functions as well.

Natural Flood and Erosion Control
Over the centuries, flooplains develop their own ways to handle flooding and erosion with natural features that provide floodwater storage and conveyance, reduce flood velocities and flood peaks, and curb sedimentation.

Natural controls on flooding and erosion help to maintain water quality by filtering nutrients and impurities from runoff, processing organic wastes and moderating temperature fluctuations.

These natural controls also contribute to recharging groundwater by promoting infiltration and refreshing aquifers, and by reducing the frequency and duration of low surface flows.

Biologic Resources and Functions
Floodplains enhance biological productivity by supporting a high rate of plant growth.  This helps to maintain biodiversity and the integrity of ecosystems.

Floodplains provide excellent habitats for fish and wildlife by serving as breeding and feeding grounds.  They also create and enhance waterfowl habitats, and help to protect habitats for rare and endangered species.

Societal Resources and Functions
People benefit from floodplains through the food they provide, the recreational opportunities they afford and the scientific knowledge gained in studying them.

Wild and cultivated products are harvested in flooplains, which are enhanced agricultural land made rich by sediment deposits.  They provide open space, which may be used to restore and enhance forest lands, or for recreational opportunities or simple enjoyment of their aestheitic beauty.

Floodplains provide areas for scientific study and outdoor education.  They contain cultural resources such as historic or archaeological sites, and thus provide opportunities for environmental and other kinds of studies.

Floodplains can increase a community’s overall quality of life, a role that often has been undervalued.  By transforming floodplains from problem areas into value-added assets, the community can improve its quality of life.  Parks, bike paths, open spaces, wildlife conservation areas and aesthetic features are improtant to citizens.  Assets like these make the community more appealing to potential employers, investors, residents, property owners and tourists.

Elevation Certificate

An Elevation Certificate is a form used by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to provide elevation information necessary to ensure compliance with community floodplain management ordinances, to determine the proper insurance premium rate, and to support a request for a Letter of Map Amendment (LOMA).  The Elevation Certificate is required in order to properly rate post-FRIM (Flood Rate Insurance Map) buildings.  The current expiration date for this elevation certificate form is November 30, 2018.

FEMA’s Elevation Certificate and Instructions

A list of recent Elevation Certificates for newly constructed or substantially improved buildings in the City of Georgetown can be found here.

City of Georgetown Elevation Certificates

The following links provide information on flood mitigation, protection, and insurance.

FEMA -Federal Emergency Management Agency website (spanish)

2017 Flood Newsletter -Download the 2017 flood information newsletter.

How to Protect Your Home & Property -FEMA audio.

Georgetown Flood Map -FEMA’s Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRMs) may be viewed in the Building & Planning Department upon request.  FEMA Map Service Center

2016 PRELIMINARY FLOOD MAP for City of Georgetown.  When adopted by the state, this will become the new flood map for Georgetown.

SC Flood Mitigation Programs

Hurricane Evacuation and shelter location information.

Floodsmart.gov -The official site of the Nation Flood Insurance Program (NFIP).

Flood Economics – The economic investments and benefits for homeowners on flood hazard mitigation projects.

SC State Climatology Office -Information on climate, from floods to drought.

Elevation Certificate Information -click to view recent EC’s in the City of Georgetown.  Please inquire with the City of Georgetown’s Housing & Community Development Department for further information that is readily available upon request.

NOAA -Real time river flood levels for Georgetown area.

NOAA Weather Radio

South Carolina Emergency Management Division (SCEMD) – Go here to find your evacuation zone and other emergency information.  HMGP Grants

Drainage System maintenance -Some information on our drainage system.

SCDHEC Ocean & Coastal Resource Management (OCRM)

The Weather Channel -Get real-time local weather updates and warnings.

Flood Warning System -Listen to the local City of Georgetown Emergency Operations radio station.

Natural and Beneficial Functions of the Local Floodplain

Georgetown County Library -Search for Flood Protection or Flood Insurance in the online catalog to get all types of flood information and books from your local Georgetown County library.

Flood Ordinance for the City of Georgetown

Hurricane Surge Map for the City of Georgetown

2019 Hazard Mitigation Plan for Georgetown

Program for Public Information (PPI) Multijurisdictional plan for Georgetown County, Pawleys Island, and the City of Georgetown (2016) Projects Chart

NOAA Digital Coast – Sea Level Rise Viewer

NOAA Digital Coast – Coastal Flood Exposure Mapper

If you have any questions or concerns about FIRM’s, permits for flood retrofitting, or floodplain management, we can help you.  Please contact our staff at 843-545-4010.

Georgetown