Floodplain Management


Maintaining adequate flood control along the coast is vital to a healthy and productive community. The natural floodplains that make up much of our county protect human life and property from flood damage in the event of a storm. The beautiful, functioning wetlands, riparian buffers and marshlands offer economic and health benefits as well as their rich and diverse ecosystems. By making wise land use decisions in the development and management of floodplains, beneficial functions can be protected and negative impacts to the quality of the environment can be reduced.

Currently, we are working to educate developers, builders, engineering consultants and municipalities of the importance of these sensitive areas. Chatham County and the municipalities are taking steps to review and revise ordinances that include more restrictive protection policies to protect our floodplains. For a list of facts that every resident should know please click here: http://www.chathamcounty.org/ten_flood_facts.html


Unincorporated Chatham County has recently updated its flood mitigation plan. This plan serves as the link for the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP)/Community Rating System (CRS). Maintaining and updating this plan offers citizens of Chatham County significant discounts in their flood insurance rates.

Chatham County’s Local Flood Hazard – Because various locations of Chatham County are located within low laying coastal plains, these areas are susceptible to flooding from the Savannah, Wilmington, Vernon, Forest, Grove, and Ogeechee Rivers. The Springfield, Casey, Placentia, Pipemakers, and Hardin Canals can also cause flooding. As a coastal community, Chatham County is also subject to flooding from hurricanes. On July 10, 1948, over 5 inches fell within a 24-hour period. Since 1948, Chatham County has flooded over 14 times due to storms with 4″ of rainfall or more. The County has on record over 1400 dwellings that flooded during those flood events.

You should know your flood hazard – Check with the Chatham County Department of Engineering at (652-7800) or the City of Savannah’s Department of Development Services at 651-6530 x 1895 to find out what flood zone you are in and what the Base Flood Elevation (BFE) is for your neighborhood. You can also use the forms or email address on this page to obtain a Flood Zone Determination letter. Check with Chatham Emergency Management Agency (CEMA) at 201-4500 to find out about the flood warning system (how much warning can you expect, and what evacuation route you should use). You can also view the local government channels and refer to the phone book to gain additional information including evacuation routes and the location of emergency shelters.

Additional information can be found on FEMAs web site at http://www.fema.gov


For more information on coastal flooding, home preparation and storm surge maps you can also visit the CEMA Web site:http://cema.chathamcounty.org/

Georgia Coastal Physical Map Revision (PMR)

The Georgia Department of Natural Resources (GA DNR) launched the intensive Coastal Counties Mapping Project in 2010 that will re-map the flood risks within nine counties in coastal Georgia. The project is being conducted through a joint effort involving GA DNR and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), with participation by county and municipal governments. Re-mapping consists of both riverine and coastal analyses and is broken into two project schedules. The Physical Map Revision (PMR) for the riverine portion of the project is scheduled for completion first with the PMR for the coastal portion of the project scheduled for completion in 2016.

Project Status

To learn more about the GA Coastal PMR project on a county or to find the flood risk for your specific property go to: http://georgiadfirm.com



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