It’s awfully sad to ride through neighborhoods in Conway and Socastee devastated by last year’s flood.
In Conway, many homes once part of beautiful communities are no longer there. Whole blocks have disappeared to the wrecking ball.
A few hardy souls refused to say they were beaten by the high water and are making repairs. A few others decided to raise their homes on blocks to avert future flooding.
I had the opportunity to ride on the Intracoastal Waterway recently and where I saw similar stories. Some homes had been razed, others were under repair and more than a few were simply abandoned.
I feel so sorry for those families impacted by flooding that few people, if any, could have envisioned.
Now that the water has receded, so have memories of the natural disaster.
That’s one reason I applaud Jamie McCauley, an assistant professor of sociology at Coastal Carolina University. She recently helped organize a forum on flooding at the university that featured a panel of experts on the issue.
At the forum, the panel tried to address some perplexing concerns about future flooding and how best to handle the problem.
The panel talked about dredging the Socastee Creek, improving Crabtree Canal and building a diversion canal from the Waccamaw River to the coast.
Guest speaker Paul Gayes, executive director of CCU’s Burroughs & Chapin Center for Marine and Wetland Studies, said in recent years the worst flooding hasn’t been along the coast, but inland because named storms are larger and tend to linger over an area longer than in the past.
Gayes said there’s not enough money to protect everyone from high water.
Instead, the areas most susceptible to flooding should be identified and then measures taken to protect them from future flood events.
I hope CCU will hold future forums on flooding because our part of the state can expect to see similar events happen again.
Representatives from the state, county council, the board of education and various city councils would be wise to attend future forums.
I’m particularly interested in government addressing the problem of road closures during floods.
Many parts of Horry County experienced road closures during last year’s storm. At one point, there was concern that Horry County could be completely cut off from the rest of the state if water crossed bridges on U.S. 501, U.S. 701 and U.S. 17.
Fortunately, those roads remained open. However, many secondary roads didn’t. Now that government has hard data about which roads flood, officials should do something about it. Now.