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College of Arts & Sciences
Hazards & Vulnerability Research Institute

Evaluating the Effectiveness of Flood Reduction Methods in South Carolina

Jaime Easoz

Advisor:  Dr. Susan L. Cutter



South Carolina continues to suffer from flood losses despite the enactment of the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) in 1968 and the Community Rating System (CRS) in 1994. Among the 199 communities participating in the NFIP, 47 communities have experienced greater losses due to repetitive flood events. The purpose of this research was to determine if there are characteristics that distinguish those repetitive loss communities from those that are not. The research evaluated differences in dollar loss information, mitigation methods used to prevent future losses, and socioeconomic characteristics of the communities. A Microsoft Access relational database and corresponding Geographic Information System (GIS) were used for data accumulation, analysis, and display. The main conclusions of the thesis are: 1) most of the repetitive loss communities are coastal communities; and 2) CRS-credited activities in the flood damage reduction category are not being used extensively in South Carolina communities. Thus, a community’s level of risk exposure and mitigation methods used (or not used) plays a greater role in distinguishing between repetitive and non-repetitive loss communities than the socioeconomic differences.