Myrtle Beach to study Withers Basin stormwater problems

Grand Strand

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WBTW) – The city is trying to reduce flooding in a large portion of downtown.

It has to do with stormwater in the Withers Basin, which is the city’s largest watershed.

The city’s study also aims to improve the quality of water running into the ocean. Whether it’s rain from a light shower or flooding from Hurricane Florence, that water eventually reaches the ocean.

If there’s enough bacteria in that stormwater, it could cause DHEC to issue a swim advisory.

“It would probably help with tourism, too, for the bad publicity to stop and for us to have some good stuff out there and see that our beaches are clean and nice,” said Myrtle Beach resident Matthew Hardee.

Withers Swash, near Fourth Avenue South, is where stormwater runoff from the city’s largest basin goes into the ocean. That’s why the city has hired infrastructure consulting firm WK Dickson to study drainage in the Withers Basin, which goes from 19th Avenue North to 17th Avenue South and inland to Seaboard Street.

One goal is to clean up the stormwater early.

“Identifying problem areas, as well as evaluating retrofits at the source, can really go a long way to alleviate those problems downstream,” said Ward Marotti, senior project manager for WK Dickson.

While the study started in July, before Florence, Marotti says his firm will analyze impacts from hurricanes and other intense storms.

“We are going to be evaluating a wide variety of flow intensity and storm intensity sizes and types,” he said.

The goal is also to prevent road flooding by improving drainage.

This study will also rely on people living in the Withers Basin.

“We can analyze data and run models all day long, even complete field analysis, but there’s nothing like the local information,” said Marotti.

Click here to take a survey to give your input on flooding in the Withers Basin.

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