Random Thoughts on the 1,000 Year Flood

By Paul Gable

Sitting through the last three days of Nikki Haley’s 1,000 Year Flood, I had the sense of Yogi Berra’s “déjà vu all over again.”

If you are in a flooded home or on a flooded street, you may not believe this, but I feel Horry County at least partially dodged a bullet with this storm.

To me, Hurricane Floyd and its aftermath in 1999 was worse in Horry County. Not by much, but worse.

What makes this storm Haley’s “1,000 Year Flood” is the rain and flooding was much wider spread throughout the state than it was in 1999. Floyd was a coastal storm that dumped a lot of rain. but didn’t hit the midlands and upstate like this one.

The Carolina Forest area, which saw significant flooding over the last few days, was in its very early stages of development in 1999. Other neighborhoods that are now flooded didn’t exist when Floyd came through.

You can only put so much asphalt and concrete in a coastal plain before problems develop. But, housing demand and an expanding tax base will trump other discussions every time.

Over the next few months, I predict we will hear many speeches to Horry County Council about flooding in neighborhoods accompanied by demands for the government to fix the problems.

We’ve heard them before.

Stormwater management and its accompanying fees were new topics in Horry County in 1999. Floyd helped push the debate along. The Horry County stormwater management ordinance received final approval in April 2000.

Sixteen years later, a similar storm event produced similar problems.

In Horry County, we saw a 1,000 Year Flood twice in 16 years.

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