BEAUFORT, Sc. (WSAV) – Tropical Storm Irma brought flooding to homes across the City of Beaufort, many families had just moved back in after recovering from Matthew’s flooding 11 months earlier.
“We’ve had people who’ve lost their houses twice in one year, that’s wrong,” said Mayor Billy Keyserling.
That’s why the state, county and, city are taking action. South Carolina State Represenative Shannon Erickson put together a task force at the beginning of September to survey the issues and find a permanent solution.
“It includes State DOT, it includes Department of Health and Environmental Control, it includes the city engineers, it includes the county storm water engineers,” said Keyserling.
The mayor took News Three to one of the main problem spots in Royal Oaks.
“This was a pond built to handle the storm water in this area, likely in the 70’s,” he said, “At low tide, there’s no water in parts of the pond… a pond designed to accept storm water shouldn’t have an island in it.”
keyserling admits the storm water drains have not been well kept, many aren’t even working after people rake leaves in them.
On the other side of the duck pond, lies Battery Creek.
“When you have the event of 10 inches of rain, and four feet of rising sea levels, you’ve got water coming in from the creek… into the slew, that is supposed to accept water from the pond,” Keyserling said, “There’s no room for the water to go, so the water starts overflowing.”
The tasks at hand inlcude rebuilding infastructure, deepening the pond, and keeping high tide waters out, estimating a cost of $3 million dollars.
“We’ll try to give the engineers all the information they need to come up with a plan, and it’s going to be a very expensive plan, and it’s a plan that probably won’t be a quick fix,” Keyserling said.
The second step in their plan was a public meeting Thursday night, inviting residents to share their experiences with flooding on their properties.
Now, the task force will work out what needs to be fixed, and the state, county, and city will figure out where the funding will come from.
They plan to have the study and analysis done by March of 2018, secure funding by May, and start construction in July.