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Here’s how Horry County is planning to address future hurricane flooding

More than 100 residents attended the first flood resiliency workshop held in Socastee Tuesday to help engineers and planners hired by the county understand the impacts tropical systems like Florence are having on their property.

“We’re here to listen to personal stories and find opportunities to solve problems,” said Thomas Jost of Sherwood Design Engineers.

Their goal is to first hear from the public at these workshops to understand the conditions they faced, and what happened during and after Hurricane Florence. 

A blueprint will be created to position the county for funding with prioritized steps that can be taken to alleviate future flooding, Jost said. 

The four firms hired by the county will develop a policy and test projects, all of which will be presented to the Horry County Council early next year.

Although the county has seen widespread flooding after several storms since 2015, planners will

focus on the most severe event, Hurricane Florence, and local areas that have suffered repetitive loss.

Florence was the seventh highest rainfall recorded from any tropical system, with up to 23 inches of rain recorded locally, Jost said.

Rather than having direct impacts on the coastline with severe surge events, recent hurricanes caused flooding long after the storms passed in unincorporated areas of Horry County along streams, the Intracoastal Waterway, Waccamaw and Little Pee Dee Rivers. 

According to Horry County, the number of properties impacted by those floods are:

411 properties after Hurricane Joaquin in 2015

1,194 properties after Hurricane Matthew in 2016

1,770 properties after Hurricane Florence in 2018

Public workshops to help develop the plan are also scheduled for Wednesday from 6-8 at the North Strand Recreation Center in Little River, and Thursday from 6-8 p.m. at the James R. Frazier Community Center in Bucksport.

Planners say the entire resiliency planning process should take at least seven months.