Flooding cause for concern in Crabtree Swamp - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

Flooding cause for concern in Crabtree Swamp

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CONWAY, SC (WMBF) - There is new information on some flooding issues in Horry County: areas of Conway have been dealing with flooding for years, and now there are efforts to stop the water before it causes damages.

The Crabtree Swamp moves throughout Conway, and when it rains, it carries all the stormwater through the area. Now canals like Crabtree are carrying more than they were built for, and all of the water is rushing to get out, which causes flooding.

"It's really just the stress on the system over time, just changed, because the landscape has changed," said Dave Fuss, the Watershed Planner for the Horry County Stormwater Department. "Originally, it was designed for draining agricultural fields, and now we have urban and suburban development."

All of the recent development means the canal is handling more water, and it ends up piling up and flooding. So today, Horry County, the city of Conway, and Coastal Carolina University are planting the seeds to restore the floodplain. They will be placing trees and other plants along the swamp to spread out and slow down the water to keep it from building up. The biggest example we've seen of this was with Hurricane Floyd in 1999, where many people lost their homes to the rising waters.

WMBF News' Alex Holley  talked with a woman who has dealt with the flooding before, and she says many people don't know just how bad it can get.

"They do not understand," said Jean Steen, who lives near the Crabtree Swamp. "It was not a good experience. It really was not. It was very scary, you know to think you're going to lose your home, and we just could not believe how much water was in here."

Several groups of people will be out near the swamp Wednesday morning, starting the effort on a half-mile of land near the swamp, right before it goes underneath Highway 501. This $85,000 investment will be a small step toward solving the problem, as this issue was more than 50 years in the making.

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