Conway City Council candidates discuss flood mitigation efforts ahead of Nov. 2 elections

Grand Strand

CONWAY, S.C. (WBTW) — The local flood advocate group Horry County Rising hosted a forum Saturday morning with the candidates running for Conway City Council.

“The problems that we’re having now, as a kid, I would’ve thought we’d never had,” candidate Danny Hardee, said.

The forum was a way to learn more about the candidates and the kinds of measures they support for dealing with future flooding problems.

“I think people are mostly looking for candidates that have a vision… but mostly they want to make sure that they share their values and are gonna do everything they can if elected to help save their properties from flooding,” April O’Leary, the founder of Horry County Rising, said.

Those in attendance included incumbent council member William Goldfinch and candidates Beth Helms, Amanda Butler and Hardee. Julie Hardwick participated by written responses.

“We know that this is a growing area.” Goldfinch said. “We know this is an area where development is gonna take hold, but let’s avoid the flood zones,” he said.

The public was able to submit questions, and a big topic was the candidates’ visions to help mitigate flooding.

“I think it’s still on top of mind obviously because of the catastrophic events that we had in recent years,” O’Leary said.

“I was the flood victim,” Helms said. “I was actually flooded and put out of my home for six to eight weeks. Totally changed my life.”

Other questions included new development concerns, hazard mitigation plans and the flood resiliency plan.

“We have to make sure that we put the necessary funds in to make those infrastructure improvements so that we can mitigate the flooding when it happens,” Amanda Butler, city council candidate, said.

“Obviously, they’re concerned about flooding because they’ve been either affected personally or know a family or friend that’s been affected or has a business that’s been affected,” O’Leary said.

The municipal elections will be held on Nov. 2. Polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

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