Reducing flooding in the yard and neighborhood

Carolina Clear

The building boom in the eastern Carolinas continues to replace green space with hard, impervious surfaces, which creates more stormwater runoff and makes flooding more likely.

We have seen several extreme floods in the Carolinas in the past few years.

While it is hard to protect your home from that type of flooding, it is possible to make your home less likely to flood during a more typical downpour.


Katie Altman, a Water Resources Agent with Clemson Extension says “Localized, regular flooding just from an average rainfall event can cause damage to your home, as well as your landscape and it can allow mosquitoes to breed right there in your backyard, which nobody wants. So there are ways that you can reduce that type of regular flooding, like putting in a rain garden or a rain barrel.”

Rain barrels save water running off a roof to be used when the weather dries out. A rain garden is a low spot in your yard with a goal of getting rid of standing water in 24 hours. It contains fast draining soils and plants that quickly drink up water.  Planting trees can also help with this.

Replacing a part of your lawn with landscaped areas, including shrubs or large trees that take up alot of water, is going to give the water a place to go, and it is not just sitting in your yard.

If you are really ambitious, you can un-do the paving of the environment.

“The big goal with reducing localized flooding is to increase infiltration in the soil. So a great way to do that if you have the opportunity is to replace a traditional cement driveway or a cement patio with some permeable pavers or some permeable pavement. That actually allows the rainwater to pass through the pavement into the ground, rather than pooling or running off.” Katie Altman.




In addition, pay attention to the flooding infrastructure already in place in your neighborhood. Do not put yard debris into storm ditches, and if you notice a clogged storm drain, clean it out and put the debris somewhere away from the drain. That way water will get to the drain instead of flooding your street or yard.

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