FLORENCE, S.C. (WBTW) — The city of Florence started work Tuesday on a project aimed at easing some longstanding flooding problems in several areas.

The city said crews will clean and remove debris from approximately 11,000 linear feet of existing storm drain lines near Malden Drive, Saint Anthony Avenue, Sandhurst Drive and Waccamaw Drive. The work is part of the city’s Stormwater Capital Improvement Program.

“Flooding has been a concern in Florence for some time,” Mayor Teresa Myers Ervin said in a news release. “Rain events are increasing in frequency and severity, and it is time we act.”

The city said the work should be completed during the spring of 2023.

“The fact is, infrastructure decays with use, and we need to make these upgrades to protect our homes, our businesses, and our city,” Ervin said. “This is the first step towards a safer, more resilient future for Florence.”

According to the city, significant rain events that have occurred recently, including the remnants of Hurricane Ian, have stressed infrastructure, which needs to be improved because of its age or initial design capacity.

During the projects, city workers and contractors will be cleaning out underground
pipes, performing field inspections of structures and ditches and testing water quality, the city said. Most of the work will be completed in public rights-of-way, and city officials will contact home and business owners directly if workers need access to private property.

The city also said engineering and design work for stormwater improvements in the Pennsylvania Street watershed have begun. Residents should expect to see surveying and
other field work going on in the area.

Future projects associated with the Stormwater Capital Improvement Program include watershed improvements in the vicinities of Rebecca Street, Cannon Street, and Woodland Drive, the city said.

The city also said officials are also seeking public input to help determine locations that are experiencing flooding, drainage concerns or water quality issues in preparation of a stormwater master plan.

The city said officials plan to have four public meetings in 2023 to gather information and address the issues.