HORRY COUNTY, S.C. (WBTW) — The Grand Strand is no stranger to flooding when big storms come through the area.
That’s why one organization, Horry County Rising, has been helping those impacted and working to make a change.
Tropical Storm Idalia caused damage all along the east coast, with residents along the Grand Strand being heavily affected.
The founder of Horry County Rising, April O’Leary, is working closely to make change and help families who have been impacted by the recent flooding.
“I think the top headline from this event is that it was a flash flooding event and that it had a significant impact on our state and county roads,” O’Leary said.
Horry County Rising is a flooding advocacy group based in the Grand Strand. O’Leary said she has been working to help families who have had flooding issues after Idalia made its way through the area.
“We talked to families that, you know, had loved ones that got stranded in the road,” she said. “We’ve talked with Horry County emergency officials and they’ve had to rescue families in a road.”
Horry County Rising said Horry County is 16th place out of 16 South Carolina coastal counties in flood readiness.
O’Leary said close to 100 county roads and a dozen state roads were impacted by Idalia. She said something needs to be done about that.
“We need to make sure that we’re more flood resilient, and we need to enhance our design standards to ensure that our roads are not destroyed by floodwaters or communities are cut off by floodwaters,” O’Leary said.
Horry County Rising has been working for years to prevent recurring flood issues along the Grand Strand.
“The truth is, we have done a lot for mitigation,” O’Leary said. “We have done a lot to be more flood resilient.”
O’Leary added that the families she’s working close with are frustrated with the status of our roads and want to see more change by city officials.
Horry County now has some of the highest building elevation standards in the state and Horry County Rising said it’s because of community members coming together and making their voices heard.
Gracie is a multimedia journalist at News 13 and is from Cleveland, Ohio. Gracie joined the team in June 2023 after graduating from the University of Alabama in May 2023. Follow Gracie on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter & read more of her work here.