Flooding has become one of the most frequent and costly problems that South Carolina is dealing with. To our surprise, severe storms rolled over our state this month; water levels were thigh-deep in Charleston, and several flooded streets had to be closed. Our state’s low-lying topography and humid subtropical climate, combined with a successful track record of attracting development near the water, is making our land highly vulnerable to flooding. This environmental concern needs to be handled, and understanding the risks is the first step to protect life and property in our beloved state.

In light of this challenge, Charleston Senator Chip Campsen sponsored the new bill (S.108) that requires the SC Geological Survey Unit at the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) to update topographic mapping using Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) technology. It provides quick, affordable, and accurate elevations throughout floodplains.  The new LiDar scans will assess our topography and will be accurate within six inches.  Most importantly, the general public throughout the state will have this up-to-date, easily-accessible information about flood risks as a result of this bill.

At SC REALTORS®, we recognize the value of identifying, diagnosing, and mapping flood areas. We believe it is crucial to effectively communicate flood risk to our community to assist with proper decision-making. Construction, road improvements and property purchasing decisions can be made with the help of one click.  Besides, this type of mapping hinders the state from adequately preparing for storms and other natural, potentially life-threatening occurrences.

Focused on promoting the standards of living that all South Carolinians deserve, we are working diligently to support lawmakers in their efforts to make this initiative a reality. We are committed to protecting the beauty and the quality of life that fulfills our residents while attracting all kinds of development and growth.

S.108 recently received enough votes to pass the Senate on March 9, 2021, and is currently with the Agriculture, Natural Resources, and Environmental Affairs Committee in the House. We look forward to see the support continue to grow for this incredibly important issue that affects all corners of our state.