In the United States and in Georgia, flooding is the number one natural disaster. To identify flood hazards and the risks they pose, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) develops flood hazard maps, officially known as Flood Insurance Rate Maps or FIRMS. Click here to determine whether your property is in the flood zone.
For new construction: there is no building on the flood plain.
For renovations to existing property that is in the flood plain, the project:
- Can not expand the size of the house
- The renovations can not cost more than half of the current value of the home
- The lowest furnished floor must be 3-feet above the flood plain. To best determine this, homeowners should consult with an engineer
Federal flood insurance is required by most lenders for buildings mapped in the high-risk Special Flood Hazard Areas (SFHA) shown on flood hazard maps. Flood insurance is available to homeowners, renters, condo owners/renters, and commercial owners/renters within NFIP participating communities. Costs vary depending on how much insurance is purchased, what it covers, and the property’s flood risk.
Some property owners with mortgages may face new flood insurance requirements while others may find the requirements have been lifted.
If a resident already has a flood insurance policy in place when mapped into a high-risk area, the premium can be calculated using the lower risk zone on the earlier map. The National Flood Insurance Program has “grandfathering” rules to recognize policy holders who bought or kept coverage prior to the redrawing of the maps, which could result in a savings.
For more information about flood insurance, visit www.floodsmart.gov.
For more information about flood zones within the city of Sandy Springs, contact Chief Engineer, Gilbert Quinones
Nancy Creek Basin
The Nancy Creek Basin begins in Dekalb County and terminates in the City of Atlanta with approximately 16 percent of the basin located within Sandy Springs. Recent creek inspections indicate trees, trash, and other debris in the creek which will restrict water flow, contributing to flooding and streambank erosion within the basin.
In 2016, the Sandy Springs City Council adopted the Atlanta Regional Commission’s updates to its Georgia Stormwater Management Manual (the Blue Book), which provides communities with tools for managing stormwater with construction activities and is a required state standard. In addition, City Council approved staff recommended changes that go further than the Blue Book to enhance water quality, especially related to residential requirements, for new development and additions to include swimming pools.
As part of the MS4 (Municipal Separate Storm Sewer Systems) program requirements, the City inspects and reports on 20 percent of the creeks within the city limits each year. Efforts are intended to help minimize flooding, or to prevent worsening; however, it is not possible to entirely prevent flooding within the basin.
Efforts to Minimize Flooding within the Nancy Creek Basin
Nancy Creek Basin Development Stormwater Infiltration Regulation
The City declared a portion of the Nancy Creek Basin within the Sandy Springs City Limits as a "Sensitive Area" based on the Georgia Stormwater Management Manual 2016 Ed. Sec. 22.214.171.124. The City requires additional stormwater retention as a result of that designation.
For new development, the City of Sandy Springs requires treatment of the first 1.2 inches of rainfall on the site to prevent soil erosion into the stream. To reduce flooding in the Nancy Creek Basin, a recent policy change will require new development to infiltrate an additional 1.2 inches of rainfall, for a total of 2.4 inches of rainfall. The additional requirement applies only to the portion of the Nancy Creek Basin west of High Point Road.
Only a portion of the Nancy Creek Basin is located within the city limits of Sandy Springs.
The City has very little property ownership in the Nancy Creek Basin. In most cases, private property boundaries extend to the center of the creek, and property owners are responsible for the maintenance of the creek.
The Georgia Department of Natural Resources regulates activities that can occur in the creek basin, and Sandy Springs regulates activities that occur within the stream buffer/setback. Where the creek lies in the cities of Brookhaven and Atlanta, the enforcement activities are within those jurisdictions
Down trees, trash, and other debris in the creek restrict water flow, contributing to flooding and streambank erosion within the basin. Property owners are encouraged to conduct regular maintenance of their property. Permits are not required to remove dead trees, limbs, branches, trash and other debris within the creek or buffer/setback if done manually (by hand) as long as wheeled or tracked equipment is not used. Property owners should not remove living plant material from the stream banks.
If you have additional questions, please call 770.730.5600.