Flood Management

Flood Awareness

Flooding is the most common natural disaster in the United States, affecting every region and state. Flooding on Kiawah Island may be caused by a number of naturally occurring events including hurricanes, wave washes, tidal surges, tidal waves (tsunamis). Heavy rains over a short period can also overwhelm existing drainage capabilities.



Do not dump or throw anything into the ditches, streams, or lagoons. Dumping in Kiawah’s waterways and impoundments is a violation of the Town’s Municipal Code, Section 15-213. A single plastic garbage bag can clog a spillway gate and cause a chain reaction backup, resulting in flooding over a large area. Even grass clippings and shrubbery trimmings can accumulate, plugging storm drains and gates.


If your property is adjacent to a ditch, stream, or lagoon, please do your part to keep the banks clear of debris. If you see unauthorized dumping anywhere near ditches, streams, or lagoons, contact Town Hall (843) 768-9166.


Always remember to check with Town Hall, KICA, and the Architectural Review Board before you build on, alter, remodel, re-grade or fill on your property. Permits are required to ensure that you are in compliance with all applicable ordinances and regulations. If you have any questions regarding permits, please call the Town’s Building Services department at  (843) 768-9166.  If you see a building or land alterations at a site without a permit sign posted, report it to the Town  (843) 768-9166.


Flood Proofing

  • Elevate buildings and homes above expected flood levels. Elevation is regulated for new construction, but existing homes can be raised.
  • Waterproof exterior walls.
  • Add watertight closures over doorways.
  • Move contents, electrical wiring, ductwork, etc. to higher floors if they are susceptible to damage by floodwaters.
  • Use water-resistant materials in construction
Flood Insurance

Standard homeowners insurance policies do not cover damage from flooding. You should purchase flood insurance through an insurance agent that participates in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). This coverage is backed by the federal government and is available to every property owner even if your property has a history of prior flooding. There is a limit to the amount of coverage available through this program, but excess coverage may be purchased. Be sure that the flood insurance you purchase covers both the building(s) and contents. Contents are likely to be more subject to damage from floodwaters than the building structure itself

If your insurance agent does not sell flood insurance, you can contact the NFIP Referral Call Center at (888) 379-9531 to request an agent referral.

National Flood Insurance Program Class Rating

The Town of Kiawah Island is a participant in the National Flood Insurance Program and is awarded a classification rating of 5 through our continued efforts and involvement in the Community Rating System.  Please contact your insurance provider for specific rate details.

Town of Kiawah Island Sea-Level Rise Committee

The Sea Level Rise (SLR) Committee, a subcommittee of the Town of Kiawah Island’s Environmental Committee (EC), was formed in February 2017 as a result of EC concerns that the Kiawah community needed to address the growing risk of accelerated sea-level rise. The Committee includes members from Town and KICA staff, Town Council, the Environmental Committee, the Kiawah Conservancy, and Kiawah Island property owners. The Committee is studying sea level rise adaptation plans of neighboring communities with information from, and discussion with, the City of Charleston, Beaufort County, Folly Beach, and Seabrook Island. It is consulting with current and former scientists from the South Carolina Sea Grant Consortium, the College of Charleston, the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and its Office of Coastal Management, and the Union of Concerned Scientists. In addition, the Committee is reviewing national, state, and local articles and reports regarding SLR. The SLR Committee is considering various sea-level scenarios and how these rising sea levels will impact our island’s infrastructure, environment, and way of life. It anticipates a final report by late spring or early summer, 2018 that will provide a comprehensive evaluation of specific mitigation and adaptation recommendations.



  • Flood insurance can be the difference between recovering and being financially devastated.
  • The damage from just one inch of water can cost more than $20,000.
  • If you allow your flood insurance policy to lapse for either more than 90 days, or twice for any number of days, you may be required to provide an Elevation Certificate (if you don’t have one), and you may no longer be eligible for policy rate discounts you might have been receiving prior to the policy lapse. It’s important to talk with your insurance agent before canceling or not renewing the policy.
  • You can file a flood claim even if there is not a Presidential Disaster Declaration.
  • Flood damage is not typically covered by homeowner’s insurance.

Flood Maps


Flood Resources