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2. Zone X Shaded or X-500: (Moderate Risk) This area is projected to have a foot of water standing if experience a storm intensity of a small hurricane. Flood insurance is strongly encouraged to be purchased at a preferred rate and the finish floor elevation to be constructed at least two feet above the highest adjacent finished grade.
Below Areas within the Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA) - High Risk or 100 year Floodplain Design Flood Elevation (DFE): is the elevation based on the Base Flood Elevation (BFE) plus required freeboard. Savannah has a one foot free board requirement.
3. Zone A, AE, AH & A0• Finish floor or bottom of the lowest wooden floor joist to be at or above the Base Flood Elevation (BFE) plus one foot freeboard. . • Hydrostatic Vents are required if have a crawl space or garage below the DFE.• Flood resistant materials shall be used below the DFE.• Bottom of exterior A/C unit and bottom of all duct work, plus generators and natural gas must be above DFE.• Elevation Certificates (EC): two submissions of an EC are required. + “Under Construction” EC is required to be submitted once the lowest finish floor has been set to verify the lowest floor elevation. No additional inspections can be completed until the EC has been submitted and reviewed by the Floodplain manager. + “Finish Construction” EC is required to record the lowest habitable finish floor, garages floor, a/c units, hydrostatic vents, and fuel tanks servicing the dwelling. Note the Finish Construction EC is required prior to releasing of power and Certificate of Occupancy.• New construction and additions must provide a “No Adverse Impact” letter from a Georgia licensed engineer certifying the match of compensatory storage. 4. Zone VE (Velocity Zone)• Materials requirement and Elevation Certificates: Same as above AE & AH.• Cannot bring Fill onto the site.• Cannot have reinforced parking slabs.• Must have the bottom of the lowest horizontal structural member at or above the DFE.• Must have Georgia licensed engineer design and certify “as-built” of the foundation, freedom of obstruction, and breakaway walls.• Submit and record with the deed a “Non Conversion” letter stating that the area below the main structure will not be converted into a habitable space.• Hydrostatic vents are not permitted – enclosures require BREAKAWAY WALLS only.• New construction and additions must provide a “No Adverse Impact” letter from a Georgia licensed engineer certifying the match of compensatory.• Storage Flood insurance rates increase dramatically for enclosures larger than 300 square feet.
The A, AH and AE Zones are the flood zones which are common in Savannah. These areas are in the “High Risk” area and are prone to flood with rising water in both the 100 year and the 500 year storms. Structures have a 1% annual chance of flooding and a 26% chance of flooding over the life of a 30-year mortgage. An unnumbered “A” zone means that no Base Flood Elevation (BFE) above Sea Level has yet been determined. “AE” means a base flood elevation has been determined. For example, “AE-15" means that the lowest finished floor elevation of the structure must be at or above 15 NAVD 1988 because that is where the predicted flood water will rise. Zone AH indicated shallow flooding, usually in the form of a pond, with an average depth ranging from 1 to 3 feet. All new construction must be constructed above the designed base flood elevation (DBFE). Also, in this zone the “50% rule” applies.
The VE Zones are the most dangerous flood zones. VE zones are in the “High Risk” area and will experience rising waters, severe winds and wave action greater than three feet. Homes in this area are on the south side of Savannah along the Forest and Vernon Rivers. To protect against wave scouring and frontal velocity, structures must be elevated so that the lowest horizontal structural member (floor joist) is above the designed base flood elevation (DBFE). Such construction usually means placing the structure on piles (pilings), and these pilings must also be anchored to resist flotation, collapse and lateral movement due to the combination effects of wind and water loading forces of the 100 year storm. A registered professional engineer or architect must develop, review and certify the structural design, specifications and plans. The 50% Rule also applies here too.
The Coastal A Zone: is a term that is used to draw a distinction between coastal V zones and inland A Zones, and to highlight similarities between V Zones and A Zones in coastal areas. A building in this area is subject to breaking wave heights between 2.9 feet and 1.5 feet. Building damage in Coastal A Zones is consistent with those observed in V Zones, not riverine A Zones. The City has not mapped the Coastal A zone at this time.