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City Defines Flood Surge Hazard Area and Restricts Use of Fill Dirt

The City of Shoreacres has amended its Flood Damage Prevention Ordinance to address special flood surge hazards at the east end of the City approaching Galveston Bay. [Flood Damage Prevention Ordinance 2007-04] The significant hazard associated with tidal surges and hurricane wave wash was convincingly demonstrated by Hurricane Ike. [slides] In response the City has adopted new regulations to control the use of fill dirt in future construction in the east most portion of the city. [Flood Damage Prevention Ordinance (amendment) 2009-46]

A thirteen street area east of Sunrise Drive to the shoreline of Galveston Bay has been designated a flood surge hazard area. This area of Shoreacres was inundated by waters from Hurricane Ike tidal surge and hurricane wave wash on September 13, 2008. [Map]

Located within the areas of flood surge hazard are areas designated by FEMA as Coastal High Hazard Areas (Zones V1-30, VE, and/or V) and special flood hazard areas (Zone AE).

In addition to meeting all previously existing provisions of the Flood Damage Prevention Ordinance, the following seven new provisions also apply:

(1) All new construction and substantial improvements in Coastal High Hazard Areas (Zones V1-30, VE, and/or V) shall be elevated on pilings and columns so that the bottom of the lowest horizontal structural member of the lowest floor (excluding the pilings or columns) is elevated to or above the base flood level plus one foot free-board.

(2) All new construction and substantial improvements in special flood hazard areas (Zone AE) shall be elevated on pilings and columns so that the lowest floor is elevated to or above the base flood elevation plus one foot free-board.

(3) The pile column foundation and the structure attached thereto are anchored to resist floatation, collapse, and lateral movement due to the effects of wind and water loads.

(4) New construction and substantial improvements have the space below the lowest floor free of obstruction or enclosed with non-supporting breakaway walls, or open lattice work.

(5) A registered professional engineer or architect must develop or review the structural design, specifications, and plans and certify that the designs and methods of construction to be used meet accepted standards of practice for meeting the provisions of CFR 60.3(e)(4)(ii) and breakaway walls (60.3(e)(7)).

(6) Prohibit the use of fill for structural support of buildings.

(7) Prohibit the use of fill to raise the grade of any lot above the minimum required to achieve proper drainage.



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