Chatham County leaders discuss new flood prevention measures

Local News

Hundreds of homes across Chatham County were damaged during Hurricane Matthew and Tropical Storm Irma.

Leaders gathered Friday to discuss the best ways to keep homeowners and their property protected from the next storm.

There are proposed changes to the county’s current Flood Damage Prevention Ordinance — one of the biggest changes would be raising what’s known as the Free Board Requirement.

It would require developers to build homes in unincorporated Chatham County two feet higher.

“We’re trying to keep the structures at an elevation that we feel like they’re protected.  And as we’ve seen with Irma and Matthew the protection that we have under those restricted maps it’s not there,” says Leon Davenport, Chatham County Engineer.

Last month, the new flood maps for 2018 went into effect with some changes.

Some homes that used to be designated in the A Zone where flooding is likely, could now fall in the X Zone, where flooding is not expected.

But, leaders say despite what the maps say, people should still make sure their home is protected.

“Not having flood insurance even though these maps say you don’t have to, we caution people to please keep your flood insurance,” says Davenport.

For more on the new flood maps, visit here.

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