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FEMA Releases Updated Flood Insurance Rate Maps for Hilton Head Island

FEMA Releases Updated Flood Insurance Rate Maps for Hilton Head Island


The Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA) has released updated Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRMS) for Hilton Head Island.

The flood hazard maps, which may be accessed through the Town of Hilton Head Island's website, show the extent to which areas throughout Hilton Head Island are at risk for flooding. In June 2017, FEMA released proposed FIRMs based on updated coastal modeling. The updated maps, which show flood hazards more accurately than older maps, will become effective for flood insurance rating on March 23, 2021.

FIRMs indicate whether properties are in areas of high, moderate or low flood risk. "Over time, flood risks change due to weather events, environmental changes, erosion, land use and other factors," said Shari Mendrick, the Floodplain Administrator for the Town of Hilton Head Island.

"Maps are updated periodically to reflect these changes. However, the Town Hilton Head Island FIRMs have not been updated since 1986," Mendrick said. "In reviewing the updated FIRMs, many property owners may find that their risk is higher or lower than they thought.  If the risk level for a property changes, so may the requirement to carry flood insurance."

The updated flood maps allows property owners to make better financial decisions about protecting themselves and their property. The maps also helps community officials, engineers, builders and others make important determinations about where and how new structures and developments should be built, making the Town of Hilton Head Island a safer place to live.

If you own property in the Town of Hilton Head Island, click the link below to look up your new flood zone:

For more information about flooding in the Town of Hilton Head Island and flood insurance, visit

Frequently Asked Questions About the Flood Insurance Rate Maps

What is my new flood zone?
If you do not own property in the Town of Hilton Head Island, please contact your local jurisdiction as the Town does not have this information available for areas outside of Town limits.

If you own property in the Town of Hilton Head Island, you can look up your new flood zone by clicking the link below and entering your address.

You can also call the Town’s Community Development Information Center at 843-341-4757. Please understand that due to the large volume of calls at this time, it may take 48 to 72 hours for a response.

What do the flood zone designations mean?
Zone X (formerly Zone C) – low-risk zone
Zone Shaded X (formerly Zone B) – moderate-risk zone (0.2% annual chance flood)
Zone AO – areas of shallow flooding
Zone AE – high-risk zone (1% annual chance flood)
Zone VE – coastal high-hazard zone

When will my flood insurance rate change?
Your flood insurance rate will not change until the maps become effective on March 23, 2021. Please contact your flood insurance provider for information on how your flood insurance rate will change.

How much will I be paying for flood insurance after March 23, 2021?
Contact your flood insurance provider to obtain your new flood insurance rate.

What will the elevation requirements be for new homes when the new flood maps are effective?
The Town is required to adopt a new ordinance to officially accept the new Flood Insurance Rate Maps.At this time, our staff is working on the ordinance revision and have limited information as to how this will affect new construction on the Island.

Can I submit a building permit application now, in anticipation of constructing my home using the new base flood elevation?
No. A home must be constructed to the Building Codes and Town Ordinances in effect at the time the building permit application is received by the Town.

Release Date: September 30, 2020

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