Know your Flood Hazard
- Is your property located within a Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA)?
• Click here to find out City of Conway Flood Zone Maps
- If you are located within, the SFHA do you know what you Base Flood Elevation (BFE) is for your property?
• To find your Base Flood Elevation visit FEMA Flood Map Service Center or contact the City of Conway Building Department at (843) 488-9888.
- How high do I build?
• This is all dependent on your Base Flood Elevation and what type of construction you are performing. Visit the City of Conway’s Flood Damage Prevention Ordinance for more detail.
Insure Your Property for your Flood Risk
- Do I need Flood Insurance?
• It is highly recommended that you purchase flood insurance if you are located within the Special Flood Hazard Area.
• Under federal law, the purchase of flood insurance is mandatory for all federal or federally related financial assistance for the acquisition and/or construction of buildings in high-risk flood areas (Special Flood Hazard Areas or SFHAs).
- If I am a renter within the Special Flood Hazard Area what can I do?
• Renters should consider purchasing flood insurance for their contents even if the owner does not have structural coverage on the building.
- How do I know I am getting the best flood insurance rate?
• Any agent can sell a policy and all agents must charge the same rates.
- What about my detached garage/ accessory structure do I need a policy for them as well?
• Detached garages and accessory buildings are covered under the policy for the lot's main building.
• If you would like more coverage on structures of this type always, ask your insurance provider for advice or assistance.
- What does Flood Insurance cover?
• Separate coverage can be obtained for the building's structure and for its contents (except for money, valuable papers, and the like).
• The structure generally includes everything that stays with a house when it is sold, including the furnace, cabinets, built-in appliances, and wall-to-wall carpeting. There is no coverage for things outside the house, like the driveway and landscaping.
• If you have a policy, check it closely. You may only have structural coverage (because that is all that banks require).
- Do I need insurance if I am within an x-shaded zone?
• Take advantage of a Preferred Risk Policy. This type of policy offers multiple coverage combinations for both buildings and contents (or contents-only, for renters) that are located in moderate-to-low risk areas (B, C, and X Zones). Preferred Risk Policies are available for residential or non-residential buildings also located in these zones, and that meet eligibility requirements based on the building’s entire flood loss history.
• It is cheaper and is designed to provide "peace of mind" to owners of homes subject to a lower flood risk.
If you need additional information on Flood Insurance, contact your insurance agent or visit the Flood Smart website.
Protect Yourself & Your Family
- How can I get the most up to date information in the event of flooding?
• The City of Conway and Horry County both use the Code Red Weather Warning App to broadcast updates throughout flooding or storm events.
- What should I do before a flooding event happens?
• Be prepared to leave your home. Even if you have never been directly affected by floodwaters.
• Know where to go! Have a plan in place for where to go if your family needs to evacuate.
• Always check road conditions prior to leaving your home. Visit Horry County Road Closures prior to leaving to determine the safest route.
• Determine a safe designated meeting place should you and your family get separated.
• Plan for your entire family including your pets.
• Be sure to have an emergency kit that is easily accessible and able to be taken with you. For tips on what to include in your emergency kit click the image below.
• Always inventory and photograph your home’s contents and put important papers and insurance policies in a safe place.
- What if I have nowhere to go, will there be shelters open?
• If you need a place to go please visit the Horry County's Emergency Management Evacuation Shelters Website
• Be sure to plan ahead in the event that the shelter is full or does not accept animals. To find Hotels that allow for pets click here.
PROTECT YOUR PROPERTY FROM THE HAZARD
- How can I reduce my potential risk of flooding ahead of a flooding event?
• Various methods may be used to minimize flooding. If the floor level of your property is lower than the Base Flood Elevation you can consider elevating your structure, if possible.
• Review ways to flood proof your home like waterproof exterior walls and place watertight closures over doorways. This method is not generally effective if your house has a basement or if water will get as deep as two feet or more.
• Use water resistant materials in construction. Check on the resistance of paint, paneling, insulation, floor coverings, cabinet materials, etc.
• If possible, place the washer, dryer, furnace and water heater above potential floodwaters. They should be placed on masonry blocks or concrete at least 2’ above the projected flood elevation, or moved to a higher floor. All work must conform to state and local building codes
- The water is rising fast! What should I do to protect my house the best I can?
• If a flood is imminent, property can be protected by sandbagging areas subject to the entry of water into living spaces. Valuables and furniture may also be moved to higher areas of the dwelling to minimize damages.
• To find local sand bag filling stations visit the City of Conway’s Facebook page or contact City Hall at (843) 248-1760.
- How can I build my home/ business to reduce my risk of flooding?
• Permits must be pulled prior to the start of any construction within the city limits to help save time and money for our citizens but also to ensure that the construction is being done correctly to keep you safe.
• Building in a flood zone does come with more requirements than building outside of the Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA). But all new construction, or substantial improvements must meet the minimum National Flood Insurance Program requirements and be in compliance with the City of Conway's Flood Damage Prevention Ordinance
• Elevation Certificates (ECERTs) will be required for new construction in the Special Flood Hazard Area. Each project will have to provide 3 Elevation Certificates; Construction Drawings, Under Construction and a Finished Construction Elevation Certificate is required for the project being performed.
• Dependent on the type of construction a Flood Proofing Certificate may also be required on a particular project.
• The minimum elevation of a structure within the Special Flood Hazard Area is 2 feet above the Base Flood Elevation.
• You will need to apply for a permit through the City of Conway Building Department's Online Portal. They will then advise you on what the minimum requirements will be for you intended project.
- Can I renovate a substantially damaged structure in the Special Flood Hazard Area?
• This is determined case by case. You will need to contact the City of Conway’s Building Department at (843) 488-9888.
• Keep in mind; the National Flood Insurance Program requires that if the cost of reconstruction, additions, or other improvements to a building equals or exceeds 50% of the building’s market value, then the building must meet the same construction requirements as a new building. Substantially damaged buildings must also be brought up to the same standards. For example, a residence damaged so that the cost of repairs equals or exceeds 50% of the building’s value before it was damaged must be brought into compliance with the City of Conway's Flood Damage Prevention Ordinance.
Protecting Natural Floodplain Functions
- What can I do to help minimize the flooding risk for my community?
• Residents can help reduce flooding by taking an active role in keeping trash and debris off the streets and sidewalks and out of streams and ditches.
• Get involved! Visit Winyah Rivers Alliance website to learn more about the Waccamaw River Keeper and our watershed
• The more you know and understand about flooding and our watershed the more you can help reduce the risk.
- Does the City of Conway offer Community Clean up days?
• Yes, Visit the City of Conway Website or Facebook page for scheduled events and outreach programs
(1)Accessory structure means a structure that is located on the same parcel of property as the principal structure and the use of which is incidental to the use of the principal structure. Accessory structures should constitute a minimal investment, may not be used for human habitation, and be designed to have minimal flood damage potential.
(2)Addition (to an existing building) means an extension or increase in the floor area or height of a building or structure. Additions to existing buildings shall comply with the requirements for new construction regardless as to whether the addition is a substantial improvement or not. Where a firewall or load-bearing wall is provided between the addition and the existing building, the addition(s) shall be considered a separate building and must comply with the standards for new construction.
(3)Appeal means a request for a review of the local floodplain administrator's interpretation of any provision of this chapter.
(4)Area of shallow flooding means a designated AO or VO zone on a community's flood insurance rate map (FIRM) with base flood depths of one (1) to three (3) feet where a clearly defined channel does not exist, where the path of flooding is unpredictable and indeterminate, and where velocity flow may be evident.
(5)Area of special flood hazard means the land in the all floodprone areas within the jurisdiction of City of Conway as identified on the official FEMA flood maps.
(6)Base flood elevation means the highest elevation to which floodwater is anticipated to rise during flood conditions as identified on the current or revised preliminary FEMA flood maps and studies.
(7)Basement means any enclosed area of a building that is below grade on all sides.
(9)Critical facility means a structure or other improvement that is critical to the community's public health and safety, is essential to the orderly functioning of a community, store or produce highly volatile, toxic or water-reactive materials, or house occupants that may be insufficiently mobile to avoid loss of life or injury. Examples of critical facilities include jails, hospitals, schools, fire stations, nursing homes, wastewater treatment facilities, water plants, and gas/oil/propane storage facilities.
(10)Development means any manmade change to improved or unimproved real estate, including, but not limited to, buildings or other structures, mining, dredging, filling, grading, paving, excavating or drilling operations, or storage of materials.
(11)Elevated building means a non-basement building built to have the lowest floor elevated above the ground level by means of solid foundation perimeter walls, pilings, columns, piers, or shear walls parallel to the flow of water.
(12)Existing construction means, for the purposes of determining rates, structures for which the start of construction commenced before August 27, 1979.
(13)Existing manufactured home park or manufactured home subdivision means a manufactured home park or subdivision for which the construction of facilities for servicing the lots on which the manufactured homes are to be affixed (including, at a minimum, the installation of utilities, the construction of streets, and either final site grading or the pouring of concrete pads) is completed before August 27, 1979.
(14)Expansion to an existing manufactured home park or subdivision means the preparation of additional sites by the construction of facilities for servicing the lots on which the manufactured homes are to be affixed (including the installation of utilities, the construction of streets, and either final site grading or the pouring of concrete slabs).
(15)Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) means an agency of the United States Department of Homeland Security. The agency's primary purpose is to coordinate the response to a disaster that has occurred in the United States and that overwhelms the resources of local and state authorities. The Mitigation Division within FEMA manages the National Flood Insurance Program and oversees the floodplain management and mapping components of the program.
(16)Flood means a general and temporary condition of partial or complete inundation of normally dry land areas from the overflow of inland or tidal waters, or the unusual and rapid accumulation of runoff of surface waters from any source.
(17)Flood hazard boundary map (FHBM) means an official map of a community, issued by FEMA, where the boundaries of the areas of special flood hazard have been defined as zone A.
(18)Flood insurance rate map (FIRM) means an official map of a community, on which FEMA has delineated both the areas of special flood hazard and the risk premium zones applicable to the community.
(19)Flood insurance study means the official report provided by FEMA which contains flood profiles, as well as the flood boundary floodway map and the water surface elevation of the base flood.
(20)Flood-resistant material means any building material capable of withstanding direct and prolonged contact (minimum 72 hours) with floodwaters without sustaining damage that requires more than low-cost cosmetic repair. Any material that is water-soluble or is not resistant to alkali or acid in water, including normal adhesives for above-grade use, is not flood-resistant. Pressure-treated lumber or naturally decay-resistant lumbers are acceptable flooring materials. Sheet-type flooring coverings that restrict evaporation from below and materials that are impervious, but dimensionally unstable are not acceptable. Materials that absorb or retain water excessively after submergence are not flood-resistant. Please refer to FEMA Technical Bulletin 2, Flood Damage-Resistant Materials Requirements. Class 4 and 5 materials, referenced therein, are acceptable flood-resistant materials.
(21)Floodway means the channel of a river or other watercourse and the adjacent land areas that must be reserved in order to discharge the base flood without cumulatively increasing the water surface elevation more than one (1) foot.
(22)Floor means the top surface of an enclosed area in a building (including basement), i.e., top of slab in concrete slab construction or top of wood flooring in wood frame construction.
(23)Freeboard means a factor of safety usually expressed in feet above a flood level for purposes of floodplain management. "Freeboard" tends to compensate for the many unknown factors that could contribute to flood heights greater than the height calculated for a selected size flood and floodway conditions, such as wave action, bridge openings, and the hydrological effect of urbanization of the watershed.
(24)Functionally dependent use means a use which cannot perform its intended purpose unless it is located or carried out in close proximity to water. The term includes only docking facilities, port facilities that are necessary for the loading and unloading of cargo or passengers, and ship building and ship repair facilities, but does not include long-term storage or related manufacturing facilities.
(25)Highest adjacent grade means the highest natural elevation of the ground surface, prior to construction, next to the proposed walls of the structure.
(26)Historic structure means any structure that is:a.listed individually in the National Register of Historic Places (a listing maintained by the U.S. Department of the Interior [DOI]) or preliminarily determined by the Secretary of the Interior as meeting the requirements for individual listing on the National Register;b.certified or preliminarily determined by the Secretary of the Interior as contributing to the historical significance of a registered historic district or a district preliminarily determined by the Secretary to qualify as a registered historic district;c.individually listed on a state inventory of historic places;d.individually listed on a local inventory of historic places in communities with historic preservation programs that have been certified by an approved state program as determined by the Secretary of Interior, or directly by the Secretary of Interior in states without approved programs.
Some structures or districts listed on the state or local inventories MAY NOT be "historic" as cited above, but have been included on the inventories because it was believed that the structures or districts have the potential for meeting the "historic" structure criteria of the DOI. In order for these structures to meet NFIP historic structure criteria, it must be demonstrated and evidenced that the South Carolina Department of Archives and History has individually determined that the structure or district meets DOI historic structure criteria.
(27)Limited storage means an area used for storage and intended to be limited to incidental items that can withstand exposure to the elements and have low flood damage potential. Such an area must be of flood-resistant or breakaway material, void of utilities except for essential lighting and cannot be temperature controlled.
(28)Lowest adjacent grade means an elevation of the lowest ground surface that touches any deck support, exterior walls of a building or proposed building walls.
(29)Lowest floor means the lowest floor of the lowest enclosed area (including basement). An unfinished or flood-resistant enclosure, usable solely for parking of vehicles, building access or storage in an area other than a basement area is not considered a building's lowest floor; provided, that such enclosure is not built so as to render the structure in violation of other provisions of this chapter.
(30)Manufactured home means a structure, transportable in one (1) or more sections, which is built on a permanent chassis and designed to be used with or without a permanent foundation when connected to the required utilities. The term "manufactured home" does not include a "recreational vehicle."
(31)Manufactured home park or subdivision means a parcel (or contiguous parcels) of land divided into two (2) or more manufactured home lots for rent or sale.
(32)Mean sea level , for the purpose of flood benchmarks, means the National Geodetic Vertical Datum (NGVD) of 1929, North American Vertical Datum (NAVD) of 1988, or other datum, to which the base flood elevations shown on a community's flood insurance rate maps are shown.
(33)National Geodetic Vertical Datum (NGVD) of 1929 means national standard reference datum for elevations, formerly referred to as mean sea level (MSL), of 1929. NGVD 1929 may be used as the reference datum on some flood insurance rate maps (FIRMs).
(34)New construction means structure for which the start of construction commenced on or after August 27, 1979. The term also includes any subsequent improvements to such structure.
(35)New manufactured home park or subdivision means a manufactured home park or subdivision for which the construction of facilities for servicing the lots on which the manufactured homes are to be affixed (including at a minimum, the installation of utilities, the construction of streets, and either final site grading or the pouring of concrete slabs) is completed on or after August 27, 1979.
(36)North American Vertical Datum (NAVD) of 1988 means the vertical control datum established for vertical control surveying in the Unites States of America based upon the General Adjustment of the North American Datum of 1988. It replaces the National Geodetic Vertical Datum (NGVD) of 1929.
(37)Official FEMA flood maps means current and August 19, 2019 revised preliminary FEMA flood insurance rate maps and current flood insurance study with accompanying maps and other supporting data.
(38)Recreational vehicle means a vehicle which is:a.built on a single chassis;b.four hundred square feet or less when measured at the largest horizontal projection;c.designed to be self-propelled or permanently towable by a light duty truck; andd:designed primarily not for use as a permanent dwelling, but as temporary living quarters for recreational, camping, travel, or seasonal use.
(39)Repetitive loss property means any insurable building for which two (2) or more claims of more than $1,000.00 were paid by the National Flood Insurance Program within any rolling 10-year period, since 1978. A repetitive loss property may or may not be currently insured by the National Flood Insurance Program.
(40)Required flood protection level means two (2) feet above the base flood elevation shown on official FEMA flood maps. The required flood protection level is the regulatory requirement for the elevation or the floodproofing of structures in the City of Conway.
(41)Start of construction (for other than new construction or substantial improvements under the Coastal Barrier Resources Act P.L. 97-348) includes substantial improvement, and means the date the building permit was issued, provided the actual start of construction, repair, reconstruction, rehabilitation, addition, or improvement was within 180 days of the permit date. The actual start means the first placement of permanent construction of a structure (including a manufactured home) on a site, such as the pouring of slabs or footings, installation of piles, construction of columns, or any work beyond the stage of excavation or the placement of a manufactured home on a foundation. Permanent construction does not include land preparation, such as clearing, grading, and filling; nor does it include the installation of streets and/or walkways; nor does it include excavation for footings, piers or foundations, or the erection of temporary forms; nor does it include the installation on the property of accessory buildings, such as garages or sheds not occupied as dwelling units or not part of the main structure. For a substantial improvement, the actual start of construction means the first alteration of any wall, ceiling, floor, or other structural part of the building, whether or not that alteration affects the external dimensions of the building.
(42)Structure means for floodplain management purposes, a structure is a walled and roofed building, including a gas or liquid storage tank, which is principally above ground, as well as a manufactured home.
(43)Substantial damage means damage of any origin sustained by a structure whereby the cost of restoring the structure to its pre-damaged condition would equal or exceed 50 percent of the market value of the structure before the damage occurred. Such repairs may be undertaken successively and their costs counted cumulatively. Please refer to the definition of "substantial improvement."
(44)Substantial improvement means any combination of repairs, reconstruction, alteration, rehabilitation, addition, or other improvement of a structure, taking place during the life of a building in which the cumulative cost would equal or exceed 50 percent of the market value of the structure before the damage occurred. This term includes structures that have incurred repeated loss or substantial damage, regardless of the actual repair work performed. The term does not, however, include any project for improvement of a building required to comply with existing health, sanitary, or safety code specifications which have been identified by the code enforcement official and which are solely necessary to assure safe living conditions or any alteration of a historic structure provided that the alteration will not preclude the structure's continued designation as a historic structure. Permits shall be cumulative. If the improvement project is conducted in phases, the total of all costs associated with each phase, beginning with the issuance of the first permit, shall be utilized to determine whether "substantial improvement" will occur.
(45)Substantially improved existing manufactured home park or subdivision means where the repair, reconstruction, rehabilitation or improvement of the streets, utilities and pads equals or exceeds 50 percent of the value of the streets, utilities and pads before the repair, reconstruction, or improvement commenced.
(46)Variance is a grant of relief from a term or terms of this chapter which permits construction in a manner otherwise prohibited by this chapter where specific enforcement would result in unnecessary hardship.
(47)Violation means the failure of a structure or other development to be fully compliant with these regulations.
Helpful Links Real Time Maps
Apply For Permit View Real-Time Gage Information
ASPCA Pet Preparedness Flood Stage of Waccamaw River Near Conway
City of Conway Building Department
City of Conway Flood Zone Maps
Code Red Weather Warning App
FEMA en Español
FEMA Flood Map Service Center Forms
Flood Damage Prevention Ordinance Elevation Certificates
Flood Smart Website Floodproofing Certificate
Horry County's Emergency Management Evacuation Shelters Website No-Rise Certification
Horry County's Road Closure Maps
NWS Flood Safety Tips
Waccamaw River Keeper