Charleston homeowners address flooding concerns

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - On Tuesday, a group of homeowners in Charleston came together to address flooding and ask officials what’s being done about it.

The “Groundswell” organization says on its website that the issue of flooding has been a “mere addendum” to the city’s list of priorities.

The Groundswell group came together after a series of major flooding damaged their homes in 2015, 2016 and 2017. Now they’re hoping to get answers for every homeowner in Charleston.

The event, “The State of Flooding in Charleston: Where We Stand,” brought in four panelists to talk about different flooding projects happening throughout the Lowcountry.

Homeowners heard from Mark Wilbert, City of Charleston chief resiliency officer, Wes Wilson, from the Army Corps of Engineers, Dennis Frasier from MUSC, and Frank Newham, City of Charleston senior engineer.

Each speaker covered the efforts that are underway to develop solutions to this problem, both short and long term. Topics included the Army Corps of Engineers Study, the Dutch Dialogues, the impact on the Medical Center district, and what improvements are under way underground.

When it came to long term recommendations, they spoke about elevating properties and even moving homes to other places in the city. As for short term goals, city officials say they’re looking at drainage projects that are in the work.

One of the biggest projects discussed was the High and Low Battery seawall reconstruction, which would give the battery major updates including higher seawalls.

Homeowners brought up concerns about what’s happening in their neighborhoods, and who to contact, something city officials say they’ll work with residents on.

But for those who came out to learn about drainage projects, and other solutions they say that information is vital to people who live in the area.

Charleston resident Kay Kennerty said, “There are so many projects that are in play now and it’s going to help us. I just hope it’s going to be as quick as possible.”

City leaders also say that as soon as they’re done with some of the studies they’re working on, they’ll start having public meetings about the results.

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