Flooding has again taken center stage in the news in Horry County this week while government officials continue to search for solutions.
Horry County faces potential problems from two different types of flooding. Flash flooding from extremely heavy rainfalls over a short period of time and riverine flooding when a large amount of water makes its way through the watershed from North Carolina to below Georgetown before it exits to the ocean.
While the county storm water plan addresses ways to attempt to mitigate flash flooding, attempts to mitigate riverine flooding have been largely ignored.
Even the task force put together by Governor Henry McMaster after Hurricane Florence suggested little more than to recommend cleaning out ditches, planting some trees and searching for ways to buyout homes which have been damaged or destroyed by recent flooding events.
Since this is an election year, the flooding problem is now present in the political dialogue where it should have been continuous at least since Hurricane Florence in 2018.
Horry County District 6 council member Cam Crawford opened his reelection campaign by proposing a resolution for county council to consider that would urge the state legislature to pass a bill his wife, Rep. Heather Ammons Crawford, is pushing in Columbia that would allow the county to borrow money from the state to provide local matching funds for buyouts of some flood affected homes.
Jeremy Halpin, Crawford’s primary opponent, said more is needed than just a bill for the county to borrow money. He proposed County Council Chairman Johnny Gardner appoint a Flooding Task Force subcommittee to propose, study and recommend a number of options to help the county mitigate flooding of both types.
Crawford responded by calling Halpin’s suggestion ‘political grandstanding’ and said he (Crawford) has been involved with the Governor’s Task Force working “since Hurricane Florence on research and meaningful solutions to flooding in our area.”