Know Your Flood Hazards
Local Flood Hazards
All properties in the City of Brunswick are subject to flooding, and your risk could be greater than you think. Multiple rivers surround the City of Brunswick, including the Altamaha River, the South Brunswick River, the Turtle River, and the Little Satilla River, not to mention the Atlantic Ocean. Our coastal region is bordered and intersected by these waterbodies, smaller tidal creeks, canals, and coastal marshlands, resulting in low-lying areas with little elevation to afford any protection from flooding. Many of the roads, including primary evacuation routes, within the City of Brunswick and the surrounding areas of Glynn County are expected to flood during a Category One hurricane, and Glynn County estimates that a Category Two hurricane would shut down every evacuation route in the County.
While properties located within a designated flood zone are at a higher risk for flooding, no home is completely safe. According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), more than 20 percent of flood claims come from properties outside high-risk flood zones. Flooding doesn’t just occur during a hurricane; everyday storm events can cause tidal creeks, canals and streams to rise and overflow, especially when ocean tides are higher than normal. In fact, our coast experiences the highest tidal fluctuations on the Eastern Seaboard behind the Bay of Fundy in Maine! Shallow, localized flooding also occurs from ponding, poor drainage, inadequate storm sewers, clogged culverts or catch basins, sheet flow, obstructed drainageways, and sewer backup.
How to determine your Flood Risk
FEMA has created flood maps, known as Flood Insurance Rate Maps, or FIRMS, to show the locations of high-risk, moderate-to- low-risk and undetermined risk areas. Click here to view maps and web applications prepared by Glynn County that you can help you identify your flood zone.
You can also identify your flood risk by looking up your address in the Georgia Floodmap Program (http://www.georgiadfirm.com/) or contacting the Brunswick Engineering Department, which operates the City’s floodplain management department, at (912) 267-5540.
Flood Zone Definitions
We all live in a flood zone. However, different flood zones have a higher risk of flooding. Below are definitions and information about each flood zone.
X Flood Zone areas=Low Flood Risk areas. These areas are not regulated for floodplain management purposes by local authorities and FEMA for home construction. Flood insurance is not required by FEMA but is recommended.
Shaded X flood zone areas=Moderate Flood Risk areas. These areas are also not regulated for floodplain management purposes by local authorities and FEMA for home construction. These areas are commonly referred to as the 500-year flood zones or X-500 areas. Flood insurance is not required by FEMA but is recommended.
AE and VE flood zones=High Risk flood areas. These areas are commonly referred to as the 100-year floodplain or areas located in the Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA). If there is a federally backed loan associated with the home purchase, flood insurance is required by FEMA.
Repetitive Loss Property
A Repetitive Loss (RL) property is any insurable building for which two or more claims of more than $1,000 were paid by the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) within any rolling ten-year period, since 1978. A RL property may or may not be currently insured by the NFIP.
A link to locations with repetitive flooding is provided below: