CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD)- Five months ago, the city of Charleston hired an engineering firm to evaluate the flooding problem in West Ashley, specifically in the Church Creek Basin along Bees Ferry Road. On Monday night, the results of the study were presented to Charleston City Council.
The council heard confirmation that over-development has led to the flooding in the Church Creek Basin.
Project Manager with Weston & Sampson Engineering, Bob Horner, says, “I think it would be safe to say that that certainly was a contributing factor”.
The team from Weston & Sampson Engineering presented their suggestions for dealing with the problem. The top solutions include developing tidal surge protection, storm water pump stations, and water storage improvements. Many of the solutions include diverting the water away from the saturated Church Creek and to the Ashley River.
Horner says, “I think that creating a large storage basin in the upper part of the basin and using the increase in head elevation to drive the water to the East to the Ashley River would be pretty effective.”
The list of seven improvement recommendations would cost more than $44 million for the city. That’s on top of the $50-70 million it would take to purchase 350 properties the engineers believe will continue to flood. While engineers recommend limiting development, they also say development could be beneficial if the new projects agree to take steps helping to solve the flooding problem.
Horner says, “Such as moving forward out of the northern part of the basin, looking at projects that are maybe touching the northern part of the basin creating opportunities to divert water out of the flow as a part of the drainage plans of those projects moving forward.”
To learn more about the suggested improvements and how they could impact your area, there will be a community meeting on Thursday, November 16th at 6:30 PM at West Ashley High School. The engineers will be on hand to break down the recommendations and answer any questions from the public.