In SC, flood premiums may affect preservation

      CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) -- About 29,000 property owners who have subsidized federal flood insurance in South Carolina face sharp premium increases as the government works to get the program back into the black.

      And about 5,600 of those policyholders are in Charleston, where there's concern that getting the flood insurance program solvent may make it much more expensive for people to preserve historic homes and buildings.

      An Associated Press analysis finds as many as 1.1 million property owners nationwide with subsidized flood insurance face sharp rate increases. The program is $24 billion in the red.

      The subsidies help pay for insurance for structures built in flood zones before there were rules about building near the water. That includes many structures in the Charleston historic district, which was settled at its current site in 1680.