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FEMA to Enforce New Elevation Standards for Single-Family Oceanfront Houses

Natasha Leguerre

Oct 11, 2021

NORTH MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WMBF) - The Federal Emergency Management Agency is enforcing a new standard that dictates oceanfront single-family residential properties be at least eight-feet above the ground.

The new rule is part of an effort to decrease flood zones in at-risk areas.

The city of Myrtle Beach is considering enacting new changes in light of FEMA’s new standard.

“The city council wants to approve all of this in the next couple of months,” said Kruea “They are required to do it in order for the city to be eligible for federal flood insurance for those properties.”

In North Myrtle Beach, not all the homes near the oceanfront are above ground, making them at much greater risk for flooding.

“Inconvenience is probably the worst thing. You have your home, you live there, and you work hard to get it the way you wanted to be, and all of a sudden this storm comes through and totally crashes the place,” said North Myrtle Beach Councilman Fred Coyne.

Over the years, Coyne has seen his fair share of flooding in the North Myrtle Beach area due to new houses under construction and storms passing through.

“Areas being built around it, it changes. The land has changed, drainage has changed, and takes some adjustments to it,” said Coyne.

Older homes are not required to elevate, however new construction will have to meet the eight-feet elevation requirements.

The deadline for FEMA to release a new Special Flood Hazard Area map is on Dec. 16.

You can read the FEMA standard here.

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