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2015 – 2016 Update

CHARLESTON

REGIONAL HAZARD

MITIGATION PLAN

Jurisdictions Represented and Participating in

the Charleston Regional Hazard Mitigation Plan

Unincorporated Charleston County

Town of Awendaw

City of Charleston

City of Folly Beach

Town of Hollywood

City of Isle of Palms

Town of James Island

Town of Kiawah Island

Town of Lincolnville

Town of McClellanville

Town of Meggett

Town of Mt. Pleasant

City of North Charleston

Town of Ravenel

Town of Rockville

Town of Seabrook Island

Town of Sullivan’s Island

Government Entities Represented and Participating in this Plan

Charleston County Parks & Recreation Commission

Charleston County School District

Charleston Water System

College of Charleston

Cooper River Parks & Playground Commission

James Island Public Service District Commission

Mt. Pleasant Water Works Commission

North Charleston District

North Charleston Sewer District

Roper St. Francis

St. Andrews Parish Park & Recreation Commission

St. Andrews Public Service District

St. John’s Fire District Commission

St. Paul’s Fire District Commission

CONTACT US ABOUT THE PLAN:

The Charleston Regional Hazard Mitigation Plan involves all participating jurisdictions but is

maintained by Charleston County’s Building Inspection Services Department. This plan is

published on the Charleston County Building Inspection Services website and is available in the

department office.

Public comment on the plan is always welcome and incorporated into the yearly updates. For any

questions on the plan or for information on how to be involved with the Plan, please contact

Charleston County Building Inspection Services. Thank you for your interest.

Email: buildingservices@charlestoncounty.org Phone: 843-202-6940

Fax: 843-202-6954

Charleston Regional Hazard Mitigation Plan

Table of Contents Executive Summary ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 8

1.1 – Planning Process ……………………………………………………………………………………………………… 8

1.2 – Hazard Assessment …………………………………………………………………………………………………. 9

1.3 – Hazard Identification and Risk Assessment (HIRA) ………………………………………………… 9

1.4 – Problem Assessment ………………………………………………………………………………………………. 10

1.5 – Goals ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 11

1.6 – Review of Possible Activities ………………………………………………………………………………….. 11

1.7 – Adopting Resolution ……………………………………………………………………………………………… 12

1.8 – Action Plan …………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 12

1.9 – Conclusion …………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 12

Planning Process ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 14

2.1 – Direction of Professional Planner …………………………………………………………………………… 14

2.2 – Pre Planning Request for Input from Interested Parties …………………………………………. 14

2.3 – Planning Committee ………………………………………………………………………………………………. 16

2.4 – Public Input ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 18

2.5 – Local Jurisdiction Adoption …………………………………………………………………………………… 20

2.6 – Implementation Plan ……………………………………………………………………………………………… 20

2.7 – Planning Process Summary ……………………………………………………………………………………. 22

Attachment 2-A: Charleston Regional Hazard Mitigation Plan Questionnaire ………………. 26

Attachment 2-B: CRS/Hazard Mitigation Plan Questionnaire Distribution …………………… 33

Attachment 2-C: Members of the Charleston Regional Hazard Mitigation Project

Committee ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 35

Attachment 2-D: Recognizing & Adopting the Committee/Plan …………………………………… 37

Hazard Assessment …………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 39

3.1 – Hurricane ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 41

3.2 – Flood ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 46

3.3 – Wildfire ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 50

3.4 – Tornado …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 54

3.5 – Earthquake …………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 57

3.6 – Hazardous Materials ……………………………………………………………………………………………… 61

3.7 – Rip Currents …………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 65

Charleston Regional Hazard Mitigation Plan

3.8 – Severe Storm ………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 68

3.9 – Drought …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 73

3.10 – Winter eather ……………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 78

3.11 – Avian Flu/Pandemic ……………………………………………………………………………………………. 80

3.12 – Dam Failure …………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 83

3.13 – Terrorism ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 85

3.14 – Tsunamis ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 89

3.15 – Summary of Jurisdictions Affected ………………………………………………………………………. 91

3.16 – Summary of Hazard Extent ………………………………………………………………………………….. 92

3.17 – Summary of Hazard Probability …………………………………………………………………………… 94

Problem Assessment ………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 96

4.1 – Hazard Vulnerability ……………………………………………………………………………………………… 96

4.2 – Vulnerable Buildings ……………………………………………………………………………………………. 112

4.3 – Infrastructure Vulnerability………………………………………………………………………………….. 126

4.4 – Known Flood Damages ………………………………………………………………………………………… 135

4.5 – Past Flood Impacts ……………………………………………………………………………………………….. 137

4.6 – Emergency Warning Needs ………………………………………………………………………………….. 137

4.7 – Critical Facilities …………………………………………………………………………………………………… 140

4.8 – Natural and Beneficial Functions of Floodplains ………………………………………………….. 148

4.9 – Development and Population Trends …………………………………………………………………… 156

4.10 – Economic Impact ………………………………………………………………………………………………… 171

Attachment 4-A: Repetitive Loss Areas within the Charleston Region ………………………… 199

Attachment 4-B: Critical Facilities Located within Charleston County ………………………… 204

Attachment 4-C: Charleston Region Buildings Vulnerable to Flooding Due to Location in

the Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA) Only ……………………………………………………………….. 213

Attachment 4-D: Charleston Region Buildings Vulnerable to Flooding Due to Year of

Construction and Location in the Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA) …………………………. 214

Attachment 4-E: Charleston Region Average Valuation of Buildings and Mobile Homes

…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 215

Attachment 4-F: Charleston Region Average Valuation of Site-Built Buildings by Flood

Zone …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 216

Goals ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 217

Possible Activities …………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 221

6.1 – Program for Public Information ……………………………………………………………………………. 223

6.2 – Preventive Activities …………………………………………………………………………………………….. 225

Charleston Regional Hazard Mitigation Plan

6.3 – Property Protection ………………………………………………………………………………………………. 227

6.4 – Natural and Beneficial Functions of Floodplains/Resource Preservation …………….. 231

6.5 – Emergency Services ……………………………………………………………………………………………… 233

6.6 – Structural Projects ………………………………………………………………………………………………… 236

6.7 – Public Information Activities ……………………………………………………………………………….. 238

Attachment 6-A: A Chart of Project Prioritization Factors Based Upon Questionnaire

Responses …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 241

Attachment 6-B: A Chart of Property Protection Project Prioritization Based Upon

Questionnaire Responses ……………………………………………………………………………………………… 242

Attachment 6-C: Drainage Improvement Projects ……………………………………………………….. 243

Attachment 6-D: Program for Public Information ……………………………………………………….. 254

Adopting Resolution and Jurisdiction-Specific Action Plans ………………………………………… 259

7.1 – Unincorporated Charleston County ……………………………………………………………………… 261

7.2 – Town of Awendaw ………………………………………………………………………………………………. 287

7.3 – City of Charleston ………………………………………………………………………………………………… 312

7.4 – City of Folly Beach ……………………………………………………………………………………………….. 322

7.5 – Town of Hollywood ……………………………………………………………………………………………… 332

7.6 – City of Isle of Palms ……………………………………………………………………………………………… 357

7.7 – Town of James Island …………………………………………………………………………………………… 364

7.8 – Town of Kiawah Island ………………………………………………………………………………………… 387

7.9 – Town of Lincolnville …………………………………………………………………………………………….. 397

7.10 – Town of McClellanville ………………………………………………………………………………………. 413

7.11 – Town of Meggett ………………………………………………………………………………………………… 427

7.12 – Town of Mt. Pleasant ………………………………………………………………………………………….. 450

7.13 – City of North Charleston…………………………………………………………………………………….. 471

7.14 – Town of Ravenel…………………………………………………………………………………………………. 494

7.15 – Town of Rockville ………………………………………………………………………………………………. 517

7.16 – Town of Seabrook Island ……………………………………………………………………………………. 540

7.17 – Town of Sullivan’s Island …………………………………………………………………………………… 564

7.18 – Charleston County Parks & Recreation Commission ………………………………………….. 577

7.19 – Charleston County School District ……………………………………………………………………… 582

7.20 – Charleston Water System ……………………………………………………………………………………. 588

7.21 – College of Charleston …………………………………………………………………………………………. 604

7.22 – Cooper River Parks & Playground Commission …………………………………………………. 610

Charleston Regional Hazard Mitigation Plan

7.23 – James Island Public Service District Commission ……………………………………………….. 615

7.24 – Mt. Pleasant Water Works Commission ……………………………………………………………… 628

7.25 – North Charleston District …………………………………………………………………………………… 633

7.26 – North Charleston Sewer District …………………………………………………………………………. 640

7.27 – Roper St. Francis …………………………………………………………………………………………………. 649

7.28 – St. Andrews Parish Park & Recreation Commission …………………………………………… 650

7.29 – St. Andrews Public Service District …………………………………………………………………….. 655

7.30 – St. John’s Fire District Commission …………………………………………………………………….. 659

7.31 – St. Paul’s Fire District Commission …………………………………………………………………….. 665

Appendices ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 670

A.1 – Abbreviations Utilized In This Plan ……………………………………………………………………… 671

A.2 – Overview of the Community Rating System (CRS) ……………………………………………… 673

A.3 – Overview of Project IMPACT ………………………………………………………………………………. 675

A.4 – Overview of CARE Program………………………………………………………………………………… 676

A.5 – Summary of Changes ………………………………………………………………………………………….. 678

A.6 – Public Meeting Notices ……………………………………………………………………………………….. 700

A.7 – Previous Meeting Minutes …………………………………………………………………………………… 709

Executive Summary 8

Section 1

Executive Summary 1.1 – Planning Process

The Charleston Regional Hazard Mitigation Plan is the result of a community wide effort to

determine appropriate mechanisms to address the various types of hazards facing the

Charleston Region. The Charleston Regional Hazard Mitigation Program Committee, which

drafted this plan, consisted of members from each of the local government entities within

Charleston County, from State agencies with a focus on hazard mitigation, from Federal

agencies with a focus on hazard mitigation, and from the non-profit and public sectors. The

Emergency Management Program provides technical assistance consistent with the scope of

the mitigation program such as implementing building codes, fire codes, and land-use

ordinances. The committees established under the local “Project Impact” initiative also

provide input into the projects recommended in the plan. At the initiation of the planning

process utilized in drafting this plan, a questionnaire regarding hazard mitigation and

project prioritization was distributed through directed mailings as well as through meetings

with professional organizations to solicit input into the recommended contents for the plan.

Public meetings were also conducted in three areas throughout the Region to obtain

additional input from the citizens of the Region regarding the contents of this plan. In 2003,

as a result of changes to Federal law under the Disaster Mitigation Act of 2000, special

purpose districts in Charleston County joined the planning process so they would have the

opportunity to adopt an approved hazard mitigation plan and meet the new requirements

of the Act. All of the original plan signatories have continued to participate in this plan

(none have dropped out) and all of the Special Purpose District Governments that adopted

the plan during 2004 (see Attachment II-D) have continued to participate in the planning

process through 2009. For the 2012-2013 Plan, the Town of James Island was not included

due to a court decision in June 2011 that dissolved the town following a lawsuit with the

City of Charleston. Residents of the dissolved town were considered part of Unincorporated

Charleston County during the update cycle for 2012-2013. The Town of James Island has

been included in the plan as its own entity once again, from the 2013-2014 plan onward. Two

additional government entities have joined the planning process and adopted the plan since

2004: namely the College of Charleston and the Charleston County School District. Roper

St. Francis has requested to be added to this year’s plan. Roper St. Francis will be submitting

an “Action Plan” only, due to joining the program as of May 2015. All of the local

government entities within Charleston County are now participating in the plan and have

adopted the plan. During 2014-2015, a questionnaire was distributed to the plan signatories

and others with an interest in hazard mitigation to determine if there were any changes to

hazard mitigation and project prioritization since the last questionnaire was distributed in

2006-2007. The results of this survey are included in this plan, as applicable. The planning

Executive Summary 9

process is more thoroughly explained in Section II of this plan. The plan has been drafted in

such a manner that the local government entities within Charleston County are able to

prepare an action plan for their respective entities and adopt this plan for their use within

their government entity. This cooperative approach enables the Region to have a more

standardized way of addressing hazards which face all of the government entities, and also

avoids a duplication of effort that would occur if all of the government entities individually

undertook this type of planning initiative.

As a strengthening of this cooperation among the communities a Program for Public

Information (see Section IV) was established for 2012-2013 as part of the region’s on-going

efforts to better inform its citizenry on proper preparedness and mitigation measures to be

undertaken to make the region more resilient to those natural hazards that pose the greatest

threat of loss and damage. In the upcoming years, the program will be improved upon and

enhanced in order to protect lives and raise awareness of important issues.

The Charleston Regional Plan is unique in the fact the plan is updated annually. This

allows a continual planning process to keep the plan current, the jurisdictions involved, and

the history more dynamic.

1.2 – Hazard Assessment

The Charleston Regional Hazard Mitigation Plan is based upon the results of the

questionnaires and the comments received through both committee and public meetings.

The plan includes in Section III a ranking of the types of hazards facing the Charleston

Region, with hurricanes being the most serious threat, followed by flooding, tornadoes,

earthquakes, wildfires, hazardous material incidents, terrorism activities, and other hazards

(such as winter storms and drought). Additional hazards for which the possibility of

occurrence is much more remote or non-existent, such as tsunamis, dam failure, volcanoes,

landslides, avalanches, land subsidence, and expansive soils are also now discussed in the

plan to meet Disaster Mitigation Act of 2000 requirements. The hazard description section of

the plan provides a brief description of the nature of the hazard for these types of hazards

within the Charleston Region. The discussion section of the plan provides a more detailed

description of the history of hazard event incidents in the Charleston Region. As this section

illuminates, the Charleston Region has had numerous, mostly localized, hazard events and a

few large-scale hazard events (e.g. Hurricane Hugo in 1989, earthquake of 1886) throughout

our history.

1.3 – Hazard Identification and Risk Assessment (HIRA)

A HIRA Report is a systematic way to identify and analyze hazards to determine

their scope, impact, and the vulnerability of the built environment to such events. Through

the yearly Charleston Regional Hazard Mitigation Plan, such a systematic process and

assessment has already been put into place for the area. As to not duplicate, a separate

HIRA document is not included due to the fact each component of a HIRA is already

expressed throughout this plan.

Executive Summary 10

Per the Code of Federal Regulations, 44 CFR 201.4 (b), “The purpose of mitigation

planning is for State, local, and Indian tribal governments to identify the natural hazards

that impact them, to identify actions and activities to reduce any losses from those hazards,

and to establish a coordinated process to implement the plan, taking advantage of a wide

range of resources.”

Each aspect of a typical HIRA report is discussed in the Charleston Regional Hazard

Mitigation Plan. Among other components, the Charleston Regional Hazard Mitigation

Plan includes identification of hazards, identification of resource requirements, profiles of

previous hazardous events, vulnerability assessments, and estimates of potential losses by a

variety of simulations, local outreach and education programs, and emergency operations

procedures, inventories, plans, and shortfalls.

As noted in Section III. Hazard Assessment, the Charleston region is susceptible to

hurricanes, flooding, tornadoes, wildfires, earthquakes, drought conditions, terrorism

events, and other hazards. Because of such identified risks, mitigation and education are

essential. Furthermore, the aforementioned hazards included in Section III. are in a ranked

order according in part to a questionnaire found in Section II completed by the Hazard

Mitigation Committee.

In addition, Due to the fact the Mitigation Plan encompasses a regional perspective

rather than a single municipality or organization, the effect is a more complete and

coordinated plan to improve the safety of citizens against potential natural and manmade

hazards. The Charleston County Hazard Mitigation Committee works with each

government or adopting entity and together, this collaborative regional plan for hazard

mitigation can also serve as a HIRA report.

1.4 – Problem Assessment

The Charleston Regional Hazard Mitigation Plan also addresses the vulnerability of

the Region to each of the major types of hazards facing the region in Section IV, Problem

Assessment. Each of the major hazard types are discussed in terms of which types of

buildings are most vulnerable to each type of hazard with an estimation of the number of

vulnerable buildings within the Region to flood/hurricane damage being provided (e.g. a

total of 78,355 buildings are estimated to be vulnerable to flood damage in the Region based

upon their location in the Special Flood Hazard Area only, and of these, an estimated 47,169

buildings are estimated to be vulnerable based upon both their date of construction and

location within the Special Flood Hazard Area) (Section A). Estimated potential building

and other property losses due to earthquakes and tornadoes are also discussed (Section A).

The types of hazards that pose a threat to the infrastructure to the Region and in what

manner (Section B), known flood damages (Section C), past flood impacts (Section D),

Emergency Warning Needs (Section E), Critical Facilities (Section F), Natural and Beneficial

Functions of floodplains (Section G), Development and Population Trends (Section H), and

Economic Impact of hazard events (Section I) are also reviewed. The overall determination

from this section is that the Charleston Region is potentially vulnerable to loss as a result of

a hazard event to a relatively high degree, particularly considering the increasing

Executive Summary 11

population of elderly people and increasing number of residents not necessarily familiar

with the types of hazards facing the region and how best to prepare and protect themselves

from these hazards. Since tourism plays such a predominant role in the local economy and

is often negatively affected by large-scale hazard events with national media coverage, the

potential economic losses associated with a hazard event are potentially high.

1.5 – Goals

The goals of the Charleston Regional Hazard Mitigation Plan (Section V) compliment

the goals of the Charleston County “Project Impact” initiative and the Community Action

for a Renewed Environment program. In general, these goals are intended to minimize

future losses of life and property associated with hazard events facing the Charleston

Region. Since this plan is a regional plan intended for adoption by the local government

entities, the Charleston Regional Hazard Mitigation Program Committee provided flexibility

within this plan to enable local government entities with specific goals to include those in

this section as they deemed appropriate.

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