CONWAY S.C. (WBTW) – Horry County leaders are trying to reduce flooding in parts of the Socastee and Forestbrook communities with a couple projects worth more than $2 million.
Socastee is flood-prone, in part because it used to be an enormous swamp, so the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers studied the area in the 1990s.
“They went in and they created Socastee Creek from what we called Cross Swamp,” said county stormwater manager Thom Roth.
Socastee Creek is a significant drainage source for neighborhoods in Socastee and Forestbrook, but it has trouble handling too much water. That can happen in a drastic event like Hurricane Florence or even after just several rainy days. That’s why the county’s stormwater department is studying solutions to flooding in the Socastee Creek watershed.
One plan is to put another large drainage culvert under McCormick Road.
“We would decrease the water surface elevation of a 100-year storm by about a foot and a half,” said Roth.
Another idea for Socastee Creek is a technique called “benching.” That involves creating slopes that can reduce flooding.
Roth says the county will apply through a FEMA program called Building Resilient Infrastructure and Communities (BRIC) to fund the improvements.
“It is actually at least helping the downstream areas, which is where our biggest issues were right around the Socastee Creek area,” he said.
Both projects still have to be approved by FEMA in order for work to begin.