Horry County Council looking into possibility of having flood diversion canal built

Horry County Council looking into possibility of having flood diversion canal built

CONWAY, SC (WMBF) - Horry County Council became one step closer Tuesday to having a flood diversion canal built in order to mitigate flooding.

County Council passed a resolution to ask the South Carolina Congressional Delegation to update a 2009 feasibility study for the canal.

The 2009 study revealed the overall cost of the project would be more than $1.5 billion, according to Horry County Council Chair Mark Lazarus. But that money would come from federal funds, not the County’s budget.

County Council decided now was a good time to have the study updated considering how bad flooding was in Horry County following Hurricane Florence.

According to Assistant County administrator Justin Powell, 1,569 homes in unincorporated Horry County went through flood damage. That number rises to nearly 2,000 when the homes in the city of Conway are included.

“Nobody anticipated a flood like this that would come in,” Lazarus said. “We never saw it before.”

Lazarus says the canal is something that could potentially prevent situations like the flooding from Florence from happening again.

“It’s basically a diversion canal,” he said. “As the water rises in the Waccamaw River, it would give it a diversion out to the Atlantic Ocean.”

From here, County Council will have to wait to see the results of an updated study. After that happens, they’ll determine what to do.

Lazarus says he’s willing to try anything that could potentially help prevent another flooding situation.

“Anything we can look at to help eliminate future problems I think is the right thing to do,” Lazarus said. “Hopefully in the future, we won’t have these problems.”

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