Horry Co. councilman hands out buyout interest forms to flood-prone communities

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SOCASTEE, SC (WBTW) – Horry County councilman, Cam Crawford spent Saturday handing out buyout interest forms to flood-prone areas of the county.

“I think people are sort of tired of all the talking, and they want action, and I think this is the beginning stages of that,” Crawford said.

At this time, the county does not have a buyout program, nor has it secured any funding for any similar program. The form currently being circulated only allows residents to indicate their interest in these or similar programs.

However, Crawford hopes the county will obtain funding from either FEMA or HUD to help facilitate a buyout program. He says the flooding problem became personal after his home was flooded following Hurricane Florence.

“Based on some of the information we’ve received from the South Carolina Flood Water Commission, and I think what we’ll hear from (the county’s) flood mitigation plan is that relocation is a very important component and is a solution that we really need to focus on,” Crawford said.

People who live in the Rosewood community in Socastee have experienced catastrophic flooding events the past few years. Some say a buyout program is the only way they would be able to afford to walk away from their homes.

“If the county does a buyout (program), at least we’d get some money to find a new place to live. We cannot continue living here,” Amon Valez, who has lived in Rosewood for 34 years said.

“As I’ve gleaned going and talking to the community, this is something they want. They want a buyout, particularly the ones that have flooded repeatedly, this is something that they desire, and I think that it’s time we move in that direction and move past the talking and really get to action,” Crawford said.

The flood buyout interest form is available for download at horrycounty.org/resiliencyproject.

Forms will be accepted through April 3. The form can be submitted electronically to resiliencyproject@horrycounty.org and forms are available in person at the Community Development Office at 1515 4th Avenue. Forms can also be mailed to that address to the attention of Horry County Community Development.

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