Elevation not a requirement for Front Street businesses

  • Wednesday, October 2, 2013

  • Updated Wednesday, October 9, 2013 12:09 pm

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“Please don't believe anything you hear on the street.”
That is what Georgetown Mayor Jack Scoville posted on his Facebook page in reference to statements being made about the rebuilding of the destroyed Front Street structures.
Some have said the buildings — because of flood zone laws — will have to be elevated when they are rebuilt.
That is not true, according to Maria Cox Lamm — State National Flood Insurance Program coordinator for the Department of Natural Resources.
She said the owners will have to meet current regulations, which means they have a choice. Because these are commercial properties, the owners can choose between elevating the new structures or taking measures to make them flood proof, Lamm said, adding she doesn't expect anyone to choose option one.
Lamm said commercial buildings in a flood zone are treated differently than houses. If someone is building a house in the area of Front Street it would have to be elevated.
Lamm said the flood proofing procedure involves placing a membrane between slabs of concrete.
Building materials are considered flood-resistant if they can withstand direct contact with floodwaters for at least 72 hours without being significantly damaged.
City Planner Rick Martin said Lamm's expertise has been a big help as plans for rebuilding get underway.
He said she was in a meeting in Moncks Corner last week when the fire struck and left the meeting to see the buildings as they were burning.
“She is here to help us maintain our appearance and character,” Martin said.

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