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  • Phillip Blanda

Charleston submerged in severe flooding crisis

Updated: Apr 30

by Phillip Blanda

Charleston experienced 27 floods rated moderate or higher last year - defined as water levels at 7.5 feet in the harbor - and students and residents are concerned.

“Living on Morris Street, it affects me a lot,” says College of Charleston senior Chris Furze. “The flooding gets really bad when it rains a lot to where you can't even drive down the street. It's a real pain when I need to drive somewhere.”

In fact, Charleston’s chief resilience officer Dale Morris said it’s good to be concerned because it’s only getting worse.

“Absolutely, and it will get more challenging moving forward,” he said. “That is one of the things we deal with every time it rains. It seems new things pop up and we have to deal with it.” 

For a lot of Charleston locals, flooding means damage to cars and homes plus dangerous driving on flooded roads.

Andrew Poore, a Charleston home-owner, says he has often had property damaged by flooding.

“Yes, my car got damaged last year during that hurricane we had,” he said.  “It was a real pain to handle that because I needed to go through insurance and my car did not work for a while.”

But for the city, the flooding issue is a long-term problem and something it’s assessing for best ways to prevent major damage to the city’s roads and infrastructure.

Morris said the Office of Resilience, Sustainability and Emergency Management is developing a plan to assess risks now and in the future, including improving the city’s drainage system, reinforcing the wall at the battery where water comes over and elevating homes.

Currently when there is a storm and major flooding, the city is just doing its best to react.They do the best they can to help the residents. 

“When we know the conditions are going to be bad, temporary pumps drain it out to keep it out of houses, alerts and such through social media newspapers are put out,” Morris said. “City police and fire departments will block roads so people will not go on flooded roads. Those are the key things we so the public is aware of.” 

When Charlestonians hear it could flood, they immediately worry as they prepare their homes and cars so they do not get flooded 

Poore, a Charleston resident, definitely gets anxious about the flooding.

“Yes I do, I have to plan for the worst when I hear it might flood because the year my car flooded I did not so now I take extra precautions,” he said.

Moving forward, if Chief Reliance Officer Dale Morris could make a change tomorrow he stated “Increasing the resources for the present and future for flooding would help But the biggest thing would be spending more money.”

Some residents have tried to contact the city about the flooding, But have not gotten a response. 

“I tried to contact them when my car flooded, I sent an email in but that was all I have not heard back since," said Poore.

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