I wanted to thank all of our friends and family members who have reached out to us recently to make sure that we haven’t gotten swept away by the flooding caused by the passing of Hurricane Joaquin off the coast and the continued torrential rain. Rest assured we have been safe and sound. Thankfully our house is located in one of the few high spots on the Charleston peninsula.
The Rain Begins
Starting around lunch time on Thursday, Charleston has been getting hammered with record setting downpours. I know that it started at lunch on Thursday because I met Danielle and my sister Michelle that day for lunch at Chipotle. The rain started when I was about halfway done with my burrito bowl. Let’s just say I was a little soggy after my 10 minute walk back to the office. I had one of those giant golfer umbrellas and I still got drenched.
Since that burrito bowl, it has not stopped raining. Is it a sign from God that I should cut back on my Chipotle? I mean I thought by opting for the bowl over the burrito I was making a sound choice.
But I digress.
We are just now starting to understand the impact of the flooding. Recent stories and photographs are starting to pop up of some pretty scary stuff. There have been reports of fatalities and many have been evacuated from their homes.
The previous news coverage seemed overly occupied with the recreation being had. Kayakers and bicyclist circumventing the city streets. But we are now starting to see the devastating impact of this storm over the state and east coast.
In a recent post, I discussed how Charleston is in a part of South Carolina referred to as the lowcountry. Just like the name suggests, this region sits very low and close to sea level. For example, much of the city’s historic district is within 5’ to seal level. As a result, flooding is a major issue in the lowcountry. Even the most gentle rain when timed with a high tide will flood certain streets resulting in instant gridlock.
The Ramos Family is Lucky
On Saturday, so many streets were closed that the police restricted people from entering the downtown peninsula. Luckily our house is on high ground and although we couldn't go anywhere, we were out of flood danger. Although we had to cancel all of our weekend plans, we are thankful to be dry.
So how did we get so lucky?
Although most of the Charleston peninsula is in some sort of flood zone, our house is in one of the rare areas that is high and FEMA defines as Zone X.
What is Zone X?
FEMA defines areas in Zone X as areas outside of the 500 year floodplain.
Unfortunately much of the Charleston Peninsula and its surrounding areas are in one of the higher risk zones. Here is a look at the different FEMA flood zones:
How do you determine if you're in a flood zone?
FEMA produces the flood maps and puts them on their website. By entering in your address you can download your map.
Go to: https://msc.fema.gov/portal
I intend on writing a followup on designing for flood zones.
In the meantime please keep the lowcountry in your prayers and let's hope this nastiness subsides with no further injuries. Thanks again for thinking of us.