HORRY COUNTY, S.C. (WMBF) - Flooding is an issue that has brought exhaustion and frustration to residents in Horry County for years, and now they’re demanding solutions to the problems.
Hurricane Florence’s floodwaters left some neighborhoods underwater for the third year in a row. After Florence, the Horry County Flood Resilience Board was formed to find ways to improve response to flooding.
The board held the first of three public input sessions Tuesday night, with the goal of finding flooding solutions specific to each community. The first meeting focused on the community of Socastee, who worked together with members of the Flood Resilience Board, discussing solutions and future concerns.
“I personally would like to see some real ideas but so far I haven’t seen anything that seems feasible or makes sense to me,” said Doug Sebald.
Over 100 residents came out sharing first-hand experiences and possible solutions to prevent future flooding.
Sebald and his wife have lived in Rosewood since 1995 and are one of the few who haven’t left the community they call home in hopes the flood resiliency plan works.
“It creates quite a hardship on everybody that floods. Insurance, FEMA try to help but it’s not really enough,” said Sebald.
Thomas Jost, the principal engineer for Sherwood Design Engineers, along with numerous architects and climate scientists, spent nearly two hours listening to residents’ input and will develop a flood prevention plan specific to different parts of Horry County.
“I think every place has unique differences and challenges and the way storms effect places is always different, so I think there’s solutions you can develop but you have to apply those solutions locally to the local conditions,” Jost said.
Former Rosewood resident Melissa Krupa, who was flooded out by Hurricane Matthew and Florence, made the 10-hour trip from her new home in Pennsylvania to contribute to Tuesday’s meeting.
“At some point you just want it to end so we can move on in life,” said Krupa.
While some Socastee homeowners have felt abandoned and forgotten by county and state leaders, they continue to lean on each other in hopes of a solution to save their community.
”These people do need help, these people do need resolutions to fix this issue and I’m glad they’re finally hearing us,” said Krupa.
The second meeting will be held from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. in North Myrtle Beach, and the third will also be held from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. in Bucksport.
The Flood Resilience Board is expected to present a preliminary plan in January 2020.