West Ashley drainage problem may be closer to a solution

WEST ASHLEY, S.C. (WCBD)– The Church Creek Basin has dealt with severe flooding three times in past few years.

First, it was the thousand year flood, then Hurricane Matthew, and most recently Tropical Storm Irma.

Neighbors we spoke to in Shadow Moss Plantation say this is a new problem. Many of them have owned property in the subdivision for years and say 2015 saw the first serious flood.

The water in some cases filling homes.

The City of Charleston hired a third-party engineering team to assess the problem and come up with a solution.

Rob Horner is the South Carolina manager for Weston & Sampson Engineering. On Tuesday, he presented preliminary findings to Charleston City Council.

The study started four months ago and is slated to be completed by the end of October.

Horner says a big issue is the topography of the Church Creek Basin.

“The basin is very long, flat, and low to begin with; it makes managing storm water very challenging,” said Horner.

The water, he tells us, virtually has one outfall: Church Creek.

“It is a very winding, narrow, and flat creek so not a lot of water can move out of it fast,” said Horner.

Horner says development in the area is also a contributing factor along with changing weather patterns.

“We are experiencing different weather patterns, that information is documented by NOAA. The information that we have is telling us that we are having more severe weather events with more rainfall, more frequently,” said Horner.

 

The team is using computer models to simulate flooding in the area. They also said they were able to collect crucial data following Tropical Storm Irma.

Horner said a solution will have several components, including preventing tidal surge, channel improvements, pumping water, and diverting flow out of the basin.

The suggested solutions will be presented to Charleston City Council within the next two months. Any plans would have to be approved by council.

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