FLOODING

Seabrook Island is located within a floodplain. Flood plains perform important natural functions, including temporary storage of flood waters, moderation of peak flows, maintenance of water quality, groundwater recharge, and most importantly for Seabrook Island, prevention of erosion.
Because of its location, Seabrook Island is susceptible to flooding during hurricanes and tropical storms. Being prepared for flooding begins with getting familiar with local flood prone areas and the potential for impacts to home and travel. As with other disaster events, preparedness considerations include potential for interruption of utilities and disruptions of travel. A kit of emergency supplies can be relied on until normal travel conditions are restored.

Red Cross Flood Safety Checklist (PDF)

Characterizations of flood hazards within Seabrook Island are reflected on Flood Hazard Insurance Rate Maps: After navigating to a map by address search, the hazard zones can be accessed for the searched location using the “VIEW” and “DOWNLOAD” navigation icons). Flood Zone Designations appearing in the maps are described in the map Legend presented with each map.

What To Do During a Flood

If your property is in danger of flooding, turn off the electricity at the main disconnect. If gas appliances are in danger of being disconnected by flooding action, shut off the gas at the main disconnect. If your residence is served by an above ground container (bottle or tank), reduce container buoyancy and potential breakaway by having the container filled with gas.

Weather advisories are posted by the National Weather Service, which monitors hurricane and severe weather activities. The Charleston County Emergency Preparedness Division notifies the Town of Seabrook Island, which in turn alerts the residents of possible danger. If dangerous flooding conditions are imminent, avoid driving a vehicle if possible.

  • Do not attempt to drive or wade through water of unknown depth or through running washes.
  • Stay clear of standing water around utility boxes.

Evacuation orders will be given if conditions warrant this action. Television and radio stations participating in the Emergency Broadcast System will announce emergency instructions. If evacuations are ordered, it is imperative to follow instructions in the time frame noted. Notice of evacuation orders by the Town will be posted on the Town’s website, issued through the CODE RED warning system, local media, the Town “800” telephone service (888-314-3177), the Tidelines Blog and issued through e-mail based on the Seabrook Island Property Owners Association e-mail list. For more information concerning evacuation, select “Evacuation” from “Emergency Preparedness” “home” page.

Response and recovery operations will vary depending on whether the Town was fully evacuated or not. These operations may last days, weeks, or even months. The complexity of the operations will increase significantly if an evacuation is not possible and significant damage was done within the Town.
Resident return after evacuation will depend on conditions within the Town impacting public health and safety. Notice of permitted resident return will be communicated via the Town’s website, issued through the CODE RED warning system, local media, the Town “800” telephone service (888-314-3177), the Tidelines Blog and issued through e-mail based on the Seabrook Island Property Owners Association e-mail list.

Pandemic

A Pandemic is a significant infectious disease outbreak that appears in locations around the world. Pandemics are most often associated with a novel form of Influenza and most of the global population is vulnerable due to a lack of existing immunity. While a Pandemic does not cause the typical damage to infrastructure and property as many other Disasters, it does have the potential to disrupt normal Town operations and impact a significant number of its residents.
The State Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) will take the lead in managing the regional response to a Pandemic. The Town will work with State and County officials to ensure that the Town complies with all necessary actions in coordination with those agencies. A significant Pandemic outbreak in the Lowcountry would likely restrict most residents to their homes. Prime consideration and attention will be given to the continuous operation of the Town’s water and sewer utility, but other Town services and functions may be temporarily suspended as staffing and other issues dictate.

Pandemic Preparedness Links

Tsunami

Tsunamis are a series of very long waves traveling at very high speeds usually initiated by an earthquake on the ocean floor. Wave height increases as the waves move closer to shore and may be as high as 100 feet. Scientists have noted that a Magnitude 9 earthquake along plate tectonic zones including the Puerto Rico trench could generate a tsunami in the Atlantic Ocean that would threaten Charleston within five hours with a wave height of five feet. Being located on a barrier island near Charleston, the Town is vulnerable to such waves.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) operates Tsunami Warning Centers to monitor and provide warnings for potential and actual tsunamis. These warnings would be received by State and Charleston County officials, who in turn would notify the vulnerable coastal communities. Notifications may be made through local media, Reverse 911 and/or REACH SC systems, or other means to provide immediate warning to all residents in vulnerable areas.

Charleston County’s Emergency Preparedness Division will lead the effort to evacuate all vulnerable communities. The Town will work with Charleston County officials to ensure the Town’s efforts are well coordinated with the overall regional response. Upon notification from the State or County of an approaching tsunami, a State of Emergency will be declared and a mandatory evacuation may be issued. If time allows, County of Charleston Officials will direct all residents to move to a safer inland location. If an evacuation is not possible before the tsunami approaches, all residents will be instructed to move to the top floor of their homes or nearby building. Notification to residents will be performed by a combination of the Code Red system and the POA’s vehicles with loudspeakers driving through all streets within the Town. For more information concerning evacuation, select “Evacuation” from “Emergency Preparedness” “home” page.

Response and recovery operations will vary depending on whether the Town was fully evacuated or not. These operations may last days, weeks, or even months. The complexity of the operations will increase significantly if an evacuation is not possible and a devastating tsunami hits the Town. Support from Charleston County, the State, and the Town’s outside Vendors will be required if any significant tsunami impacts the Town.