- Flood-Related Information:
- Flood Repair Myths and Facts - Find out the real facts behind flood repair rumors you may have heard.
- Floodplain Manager Letter: Rebuilding Structures in the Floodway
- FEMA is revising FIRMS for portions of the City of Columbia in 2016. Find out more.
- Updated Floodplain Ordinance passed on June 16, 2015. For more information, see the Flooplain Ordinance Fact Sheet
Knowing the Codes
FEMA uses several different codes to indicate the flood risk on the FIRM maps. To find out more about FEMA's flood risk codes, visit Floodsmart: Defining Flood Risk. For most properties in the City of Columbia, the codes are:
Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA)
This is a high risk area. According to FEMA, these properties have a 1 in 4 chance of flooding during a typical 30 year mortgage. Property covered by a federally backed loan in these areas is required to have flood insurance.
Flood insurance premiums in these areas are typically dependent on how high the finished structure is above Base Flood Elevation (BFE) and other factors. For details on how FEMA determines rates, visit Floodsmart Understanding the Basics for Residential Properties or Commercial Properties.
Property owners who believe their lowest finished floor is above BFE in these areas are encouraged to get an Elevation Certificate for the property. Insured property built above BFE may qualify for significantly reduced rates. Property without an Elevation Certificate is assumed to be at or below BFE and is typically charged the maximum rate for the level of coverage.
Non-Special Flood Hazard Area (NSFA)
These areas have moderate to low risk of flooding. However, flooding is still possible in these areas!
In fact, FEMA reports that over 20% of all National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) claims came from properties in these areas, and these properties typically receive 1/3 of disaster assistance.
Flood insurance is recommended for these areas! Property owners pay much reduced premiums for flood insurance and may even qualify for lowered Preferred Risk Policy rates.
Undetermined Risk Areas
FEMA does not have flood hazard information available for these areas. Flood insurance premiums are typically charged at the maximum rate for the level of coverage.
City FIRMs: Finding Your Risk
FEMA has online FIRMs available for most properties in the City of Columbia. Visit the FEMA Map Service Center and search for your property's flood risk by address.
FEMA Revising FIRMs For 2016
FEMA is in the process of revising the 2010 FIRMs for portions of the City of Columbia. You can compare the current 2010 FIRMs with the proposed 2016 FIRMs by following these steps:
- Visit FEMA Map Service Center: Search All Products
- In the Jurisdiction drop-downs, search for SOUTH CAROLINA > RICHLAND COUNTY > COLUMBIA, CITY OF
- Click Search
- Access the 2010 FIRMs by opening Effective Products > FIRM Panels. Access the proposed 2016 FIRMs by opening Preliminary Products > Preliminary FIRM Panels.
1136 Washington St.
Columbia, SC 29201
Office: (803) 545 3400