Flood Protection Information
The 2015 Chatham County Pre-Disaster Hazard Mitigation Plan
The Plan is being updated to meet FEMA Disaster Mitigation Act and Georgia Emergency Management requirements. This plan includes all municipalities in Chatham County and must be updated every 5 years to remain eligible for FEMA pre and post-disaster grant funding.
A hazard mitigation planning website has been developed to provide information throughout the planning process at: chathamcountyga-hmp.com
Description: Chatham County's Citizen Hurricane Academy is an opportunity for residents to learn the best way to prepare for a hurricane. In this FREE event, residents will hear from experts regarding flood zones, evacuation procedures, hurricane facts from the National Weather Service and how they can make a difference following a disaster in our community.
Time: 8:30 AM - 3:30 PM
Location: Savannah High School, 400 Pennsylvania Ave, Savannah, GA 31404
For More Information: Contact CEMA Outreach Coordinator Chelsea Sawyer, email@example.com 912-201-4500
Register For This Event At: Citizen Hurricane Academy
Smart sea level sensors in Chatham County, GA **NEW**
The Smart Sea Level Sensors project is a partnership between Chatham Emergency Management Agency officials, City of Savannah officials, and Georgia Tech scientists and engineers who are working together to install a network of internet-enabled sea level sensors across Chatham County. The real-time data on coastal flooding will be used for emergency planning and response.
Planning for Construction in the Bilbo, Casey North, Casey South Placentia, or Springfield Basins?
View local flood studies that could affect your design. Besides FEMA's National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRM), designers, contractors, and home owners will need to review the City's Local Flood Studies to ensure the proposed improvements meet City's local storm water studies and ordinances. For more information contact Jian Fei, JFei@Savannahga.Gov, (912) 650-7855 or Tom McDonald tmcdonald@SavannahGa.Gov, (912) 651-6530.
To view the Local Studies and Historic/Current FIRMS click on: Local Flood Studies
Savannah experienced some storm surge due to Hurricane Michael and Irma. If you were a victim of the flooding or saw areas that flooded, please report your information by contacting the City's 311 Center by dialing 311 or click on Form Center to complete an online survey. The information you provide helps the City Stormwater Department to better understand areas vulnerable to flooding.
For latest Hurricane information from the City click on: Hurricane Information.
Reconstruction of flooded structures may require a building permit. Contact Tom McDonald at (912) 651-6530 for more details.
FEMA NFIP Effective Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRMs).
The Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA’s) Region IV office has prepared a coastal flood study to update Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRMs) for communities in coastal Chatham County and City of Savannah. The flood hazards shown on the FIRM are used to determine flood insurance rates and requirements and where floodplain development regulations apply. The updated maps will help communities plan for and reduce the risk from flooding in the future. Start taking steps now to keep your communities and families safe from flood risk by understand the risk of flooding in your area so that you know how future floods may affect you and if specific flood insurance and building requirements apply to your property (or will apply in the future.) To view click on: FIRMs, open the “2018 Effective" folder and select your specific panel to find out your flood risk. If you do not know your panel number, check with your insurance agent, visit SAGIS.org, or contact Tom McDonald at 912-651-6530. Additionally, visit FEMA’s website: www.southeastcoastalmaps.comor and Georgia’s DNR site: for information about the coastal updates along with fact-sheets and presentations.
Preliminary FIRM Map are now in effective: FEMA has provided the City of Savannah with the FIRM panels with effect date of August 16, 2018. To see the LFD Summary of Map Actions (SOMA) detailing what Letter of Map Changes have been incorporated, not incorporated but still in effect, or superseded, click:LFD_SOMA. It is important that your flood insurance policy has been in effect 30 days prior to the effective date if your structure's risk is increasing. Visit SAGIS.org's "Find My Flood Zone" to view flood determination changes. For sites within the City of Savannah limits, properties with the tax property identifying number (PIN) beginning with 2- contact Tom McDonald (912) 651-6530 X 1895 to help determine your future determination. For PINs beginning with a "1-" contact Mr. Michael Blakely, (912) 652-7800, or request on line at Chatham County Engineering Department. For other contacts to surrounding jurisdictions click: Here.
On August 16, 2018, the new FIRMs went into effect that, in some areas, lowers the Base Flood Elevation (BFE) and adds a Limit of Moderate Wave Action (LiMWA) line. Check if your structure is eligible for a Letter of Map Amendment (LOMA) based on the lowest grade and BFE, which, if approved, could lower your flood premium. Talk with your surveyor or flood insurance agent. The LiMWA area pertains to structures that are subject to wave action between three feet and foot-and-a-half. This area receives A zone flood rates but may be required to follow V zone building regulations. Contact Tom McDonald (912) 651-6530 X 1895 for more information.
Find My Flood Zone. Use this new web map to follow step by step instructions to discover the current flood zones and new proposed flood zones throughout Chatham County. (Click on the below icon).
Citizens Are Advised to Report Any Structural Flooding by using either the City's on line form or by contacting the City's Call Center by dialing 311 or after hours to 351-3434.
New: $ How Much Does Flood Insurance Cost?
The Cost Fact Sheet displays actual flood insurance cost of a residential building that is in the different flood zones, elevations, & uses. For the exact cost of your structure, talk with your flood insurance agent, insurance advocate above, or visit FloodSmart.gov web page. Link: Cost Fact Sheet.
To learn more about protecting your property and preparing for a flood, download these documents and visit the helpful resources listed below:
Community outreach covering such topics as ways to reduce our impacts on water resources, flood insurance, flood protection, Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM), and contact information for Chatham County and City of Savannah services resources.
Flood insurance, questions to ask before purchasing property
- Questions to Ask Before You Buy or Rent Property.
- Mandatory Flood Insurance Purchase
- Dealing with Contractors. Steps to follow to protect yourself from fraud.
List of funding websites and contacts
- Financial Assistance for Property Protection Measures
- Georgia Emergency Management Agency/Homeland Security 404-635-7000 or 800-TRYGEMA 800-879-4362) or by the web
- Local contact: Lynette Allen 912-651-6524 or LAllen02@Savannahga.Gov
Let's Talk Flood:
Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act of 2014 (HFIAA) and LiMWA
- Link to FEMA's general information: HFIAA
- Links to different HFIAA Fact Sheets: 1. Overview 2.HFIAA Surcharges 3. Legislative Changes
- Link to what is covered and NOT covered by Flood Insurance: FEMA Fact Sheet
- New term associated with the Primary FIRMS: Limit of Moderate Wave Action (LiMWA): is the inland limit of the area expected to receive 1.5 to 2.99 feet breaking waves during the 1-% annual chance flood event. Typically, the flood insurance rates for the LiMWA area follow the A zone insurance rates but could require higher building construction requirements. Contact Tom McDonald, 912-651-6530 for more information. Links to FEMA Fact Sheets for LiMWA and Area of Moderate Wave Action (MoWA).
Have more questions or concerns about Flood Insurance and HFIAA?
- FEMA has established an Interim Office of the Flood Insurance Advocate as required by HFIAA. The public can reach the Acting Flood Insurance Advocate by email at or for additional advocacy assistance visit
- Additionally, citizens can contact one of two local insurance advocates
- Local Floodplain Information and Flood Determination Letters
- Mr. Tom McDonald, CFM with the City of Savannah: 912-651-6530
Flood Hazard Mitigation Plan and Annual Update:
City of Savannah's Flood Hazard Mitigation Plan is part of an annual process being undertaken by the City that reduces flood insurance premiums by 25% for Savannah homeowners, and aids the City’s ongoing floodplain and storm water management efforts. Other flood protect plans include the Repetitive Loss Area Analysis and Natural Floodplain Protection Plan. For more information click on the below link for more details on the Plans and annual update reports. Flood Hazard Mitigation Plan to help Reduce Our Natural Hazard Risks. As part of the Plan, the City mails over 800 letters to properties that have flooded or are adjacent to flooded structures. To view the letter click: RLAA Letter
Elevation Certificates (EC) On line, Flood Determination Letters, Flood Insurance Studies (FIS),Letter of Map Changes (LOMC), FEMA Forms, Flood Damage Prevention Ordinance, and Datum:
Elevation Certificates & Community Flood Determination Letters:
- City of Savannah: Ensure your property is within the City limits and not in one of the eight surrounding jurisdictions. Properties that have a tax Property Identifying Number (PIN) beginning with the number two: 2-XXXX-XX-XXX. To view Elevation Certificates in the City limits click on: Search for Elevation Certificates the City of Savannah has on file listed by street names.
For a Flood Determination request contact 912-651-6530 or email link: Email. Please provide address and PIN Number .
- Areas in the Unincorporated Chatham County and Surrounding Communities: For an address that has a PIN beginning with the number one: click on the link and scroll to the bottom of UCC web page for EC and Flood Determination request: To view Chatham County's Database. Contacts to surrounding jurisdictions click: Here.
- Need a local surveyor? For local Surveyors click: Surveyors. The City provides surveyors information as part of the CRS program. For additional surveyors check the yellow pages or internet.
Flood Insurance Study (FIS) | Letter Of Map Changes (LOMC) | Revalidation Letter
Click here for access page to the Flood Insurance Study (FIS), LOMC and FEMA Revalidation Letter
Forms: Blank Elevation Certificate and Other Needed Design Certificates
Click Here for access page to Elev. Cert, V Zone Design, Dry Floodproofing forms and Non Conversion Letter.
City of Savannah Flood Damage Prevention Ordinance and NFIP information
Addition Information FIRM datum change
Datum Change, Difference between NGVD 1929 and NAVD 1988
More Flood Safety Tips:
When the City is experiencing heavy rains and localized flooding, we recommend that you take the following precautions:
- Do not drive through standing water; it may be deeper than it looks.
- Drive slowly through ponding water, so waves do not cause damage to other vehicles or nearby homes.
- Do not remove manhole covers to release flood waters; this backs up the sewer system.
- If flooding occurs, the City will barricade affected streets and will monitor and strictly enforce all street closures.
- Please remember, when traffic lights are out in an intersection, it becomes a 4-way stop, and you must yield to the person on your right before proceeding.
- To learn more information see: Flooding - In General.
Citizens are advised to report any structural flooding
by using either the City's on line form or by contacting the City's Call Center by dialing 311 or after hours to 351-3434.
During heavy rain, the City recommends that the following streets be avoided:
- West Victory at Ogeechee
- Goebel Avenue at President
- East Gwinnett at Skidaway
- West Gwinnett at Stiles (City Lot)
- Whitaker at West 33rd
- Abercorn from DeRenne to Victory
- Habersham from DeRenne to Victory
- Paulsen from DeRenne to Victory
- Reynolds from DeRenne to Victory
- Harmon from DeRenne to Victory
- Bay Street, East of Fell/Brittany
- Fell/Baker/Jenks from Bay St. to Augusta Avenue
- Henry from Cedar St. to Waters Avenue
- Atlantic at Maupas Avenue
- President St. from Gen. McIntosh to Pennsylvania Avenue
Alternate routes during heavy rains:
- From Downtown to Midtown: MLK Jr. Boulevard, 37th St., Bull and White Bluff, DeRenne Avenue, Abercorn Extension
- From Downtown to Westside: I-516/Lynes Parkway
- From Downtown to Southside: MLK Jr. Boulevard, I-16, I-516/Lynes Pkwy, Southwest Bypass/Veterans Pkwy, GA 204/Abercorn Extension.
- From Downtown to Islands: Bay St., East Broad, Wheaton, Ash St., Anderson St., Truman Parkway, Victory Dr., U.S. 80 East.
CEMA Hurricane Evacuation, Shelter & Transportation Brochure
Flood Warning System:
In Chatham County, CEMA manages the flood warning system. Once CEMA receives a potential dangerous warning, sirens are activated. The sirens can give as little as fifteen minutes warning time. When you hear the sirens, information can be heard on the television or on the radio at WSVH (91.1) for what to do. Information can be heard on the NOAA weather radio broadcast at frequency 162.40. Local evacuation routes can be found in the phone book. To learn more visit CEMA's web page:Outdoor Warning Sirens Explained, but come back to learn more about Flood Protection.
River gauge data can be viewed by clicking on the following four web links:
If you need more information please see the Frequently Asked Questions section. Scroll down to Flood Protection Information header.