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Sumter County using new maps to determine areas at high risk of flooding

Properties in these high-risk areas will have federally-backed insurance available to them.

SUMTER COUNTY, S.C. — A public hearing for a Sumter County flooding prevention ordinance was held on Tuesday evening, Sept. 27. The item for discussion was an update to the ordinance in place currently because there are newly updated maps of the county that show areas at high risk of flooding.

"The older maps used a different set of topographic data, so the new maps coming in refined that topographic data, defined the flood contour lines," Planning Manager and Zoning Administrator Jeff Derwort said. "What you’re doing (with the new maps) is you’re seeing a better definition of where the actual topographic flood-risk areas are."

Online, you can see the changes in the preliminary maps compared to the current maps that Derwort and his office will be using to regulate development. Residents in these high-risk areas will have federally-backed insurance available to them.

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"With tropical storms that are happening at this time of year, there is a 30-day window before flood insurance becomes effective, so you would need to sign up and wait 30 days before your policy becomes effective," Derwort reminded.

According to Donna Dew with Sumter County Emergency Management, that shouldn’t be an issue this weekend as we prepare for Hurricane Ian.

"We will have some low lying areas that’s gonna flood like they always do," Dew started. "But public works with the county and public works with the city have already started lowering some lakes and ponds around the area so that we don’t have any dam issues."

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Dew explains that areas currently prone to flooding will probably experience a typical amount of water. Derwort says his department will notify residents and businesses located in areas marked at an increased risk of flooding by the end of November. 

A recording of the public hearing for this ordinance will be posted on the county's YouTube channel.

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