CONWAY, SC (WBTW) – The city will get nearly $3 million in federal aid to help restore its riverfront after Hurricane Florence.
Some know the city as “Rivertown,” but the Waccamaw River was destructive for hundreds of homes and buildings from the flood after Hurricane Florence.
As the city rebuilds its riverfront park and facilities, it will get more federal help than it expected.
“Everything that we do from here on out, we are doing with the expectation that we will flood again,” said city administrator Adam Emrick. “We are making everything that we put back in place as resilient as possible.”
Emrick says FEMA approved more than $2.9 million for the city to make repairs to Riverfront Park and several buildings. Emrick was anticipating about $1 million from FEMA. About $500,000 will go to upgrades to make the new facilities more flood resilient.
That includes an elevated Riverfront Tennis Center, with the United States Tennis Association helping with the design. It also includes removable electrical systems and hard-surface playground equipment that can be power washed.
“We won’t go with hollow, plastic playgrounds again because they absorb water,” Emrick said. “You can never get them clean enough.”
Some parts of the riverfront will be lost like the destroyed fireman’s clubhouse, an event space that will be demolished. The fireman’s clubhouse and the tennis center building will be torn down later this month.
Emrick says FEMA’s money will not only prevent as much flood damage for the riverfront, but also make it nicer.
“We know that this is a destination not just for our residents, but also for tourists visiting the area,” he said.
Emrick says this money is in a separate program from the FEMA home buyouts, which several residents are still waiting to receive.