Mayor Tecklenburg on flooding, drainage issues in State of the City Address

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - Charleston Mayor John Tecklenburg focused his State of the City address on flooding and drainage, two issues he said are the city’s top priority and how the city plans to alleviate those problems.

“The state of our city of Charleston is hopeful and strong, but there is much work to be done,” Tecklenburg said Tuesday night.

Tecklenburg said flooding has become even more apparent in recent years with extreme weather from historic flooding to hurricanes.

The mayor touched up on the thousand year rainfall in 2015, to the effects of Hurricane Mathew, Irma and Florence from 2016, 2017, and 2018.

“Eight and nine foot tides have become the regularity where before they were stretched out over the decades,” the mayor said. “Relying on science, we now know that sea level is truly rising.”

Tecklenburg presented a flooding strategy which comprised of the infrastructure for a flooding strategy and how the city is going to pay for it.

The mayor said important resources have already been established including the storm water department and the city’s relationship with the Army Corps of Engineers in their work to combat flooding and solve drainage issues.

According to Tecklenburg, one of the most important aspects of the relationship will be the Army Corps of Engineers stamp of approval on projects which Tecklenburg says will help to get the necessary federal funding that Charleston needs for them.

Tecklenburg also outlined funding sources which included the drainage fund, the general fund and the half-cent sales tax. He also hopes that the city could be able to use accommodation and hospitality taxes to help pay for drainage improvements.

“Folks there is no silver bullet," he said."It’s not going to come from one place. We’ve got to cobble together a number of resources from every place we can think of.”

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