Beach drainage problems could arise from more rain

WMBF News Reporter Alex Holley in Myrtle Beach pointing out the warning signs for beach goers.
WMBF News Reporter Alex Holley in Myrtle Beach pointing out the warning signs for beach goers.

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) As the possibility of more rain could hit our area Tuesday, city officials are delivering a warning to residents to be prepared.

Monday's severe weather caused the streets in downtown Conway to flood. Even rain soaked streets in parts of the Grand Strand can create a problem for drivers.

In Myrtle Beach, all of that water run off from the storms will end up in the middle of the beach.

Caution signs have been posted to warn beach goers to stay at least 100 feet away from particular spots in the sand.

Officials are sounding the alarm, because when it rains, all of the stormwater that runs through the streets collecting all the dirt and the oil from cars gets dumped right next to where you may lay out on the beach.

Occasionally, the city's polluted water even gathers up and clogs pipes, but once city workers clear it out another problem could arise. The water run-off cuts away at the sand near the drainage pipe, which erodes the beach.

There are several of these drainage pipes laying in the sand, and beach officials say all they can do at this point is alert beach visitors of the potential problems.

"Hopefully in years to come we'll have them all off the beach," predicts Skeeter Nash, Beach Advisory Committee Chair, "and we won't have that [beach erosion] problem anymore. It's also safer and cleaner water further off shore than right here on the beach."

Officials say it will take years to remove the pipes because any updates to the drainage system are costly.

It costs about $5 million per pipe, because the new piping would take all the stormwater drainage underground and drop it off at least 1,000 feet into the ocean. Which is away from families on the sand, enjoying the water.

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