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August 29, 2008

Updated York floodplain maps take effect Sept. 26

York County's new Digital Flood Insurance Rate Maps will become effective Friday, Sept. 26.
Local officials worked with the S.C. Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Flood Mitigation Programs and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to gather up-to-date hydrological data and reassess flood risks countywide.

Paper copies of the new floodplain maps are available for viewing at county and local municipality buildings. The maps will not be released to the public until the effective date, at which point, residents will be able to purchase the maps from FEMA's map service center.

As a Cooperating Technical Partner of the Map Modernization Initiative, a five-year, billion dollar project implemented by FEMA, York County's Digital Flood Insurance Rate Maps will become part of a seamless, nationwide digital flood hazard mapping system, allowing for easy data sharing across all levels of government.

The goals of the Map Modernization Initiative are to produce an accurate picture of the flood risk, to promote responsible growth and sound floodplain management. The county's current floodplain maps are 30 years old.

All streams in the county now have base flood elevation data. Some areas that have undergone changes on the new maps include, but are not limited to the following: parts of the Love Creek watershed, including properties in the towns of McConnells and Hickory Grove; parts of the Catawba River watershed, including areas in the Catawba Indian Nation; properties near Lake Wylie in Tega Cay; and parts of Beaverdam Creek and its tributaries, including properties in Clover.

York County has experienced 16 flood events since 1994. County residents, who purchase flood insurance policies through the National Flood Insurance Program, have recouped $172,823 in damages as a result of having flood insurance available to them. When these new maps become effective both property owners and renters are encouraged to take a look at the maps and evaluate their need for flood insurance by consulting the Flood Insurance Rate Maps at the county of municipal offices or on FEMA's Web site.

For those communities who do not adopt the maps or join the National Flood Insurance Program, no resident within that communities jurisdiction, will be able to purchase a new flood insurance policy, nor renew any existing policy. Also, federal disaster assistance would be limited in identified Special Flood Hazard Areas.

Contact DNR Flood Mitigation in Columbia at (803) 734-1410 for more information on the Map Modernization Initiative.

DNR protects and manages South Carolina's natural resources by making wise and balanced decisions for the benefit of the state's natural resources and its people.

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