Flood Plain Resources

Flood Discount Letter 


FEMA Video Explaining Floodplains

Flood Elevation Certificates

Flood Guide

Hurricane Preparedness Presentation given on July 16, 2015

Current Floodplain/Zoning Map

Preliminary Floodplain Map 9/2015


Floodplain Management

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


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.

Floodplain Resources

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

Disaster Plan for Pets

Surveyor's Corner

Flood Hazard Information & Warning System


Flood Insurance

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).


Additional Resources