Group aims to pressure Horry County into prioritizing plan to prevent flooding

Horry County Rising founder pushes leaders to making long-term flooding solution a priority

HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) - Flooding has become an issue that many in Horry County know all too well, and this week is no exception.

For days, many Horry County residents have been dealing with rising river levels and flooded homes and roads.

One group, Horry County Rising, is trying to change that.

They said their organization focuses on pressuring Horry County Council and Horry County Government as a whole to make flood prevention a priority.

The group’s founder, April O’Leary, said they launched their website on Wednesday that aims to build a community and bring change.

She said the longer the government waits to make changes when it comes to flooding, the worse it will be when it comes to issues like repeat flooding and catastrophic flooding.

“Demand a plan. A plan has project activities, a timeline, a cost, a responsible entity, we don’t have that right now and this has been multiple years of impacts even current impacts now,” O’Leary said.

But Kelly Moore, the spokesperson for Horry County, said the county does actually have a plan in place in the form of the Horry County Flood Resiliency Project. She said many of the same goals, are goals the organization shares.

“We are in the midst of a flood resiliency study. A lot of those groups have been involved with that process, we’ve gotten a lot of good community feedback,” Moore said.

Still, neighbors who live in Pitch Landing, an area that frequently floods, are frustrated and want something to be done.

“The first flood we had years ago, they said it was a 100-year flood. Ever since then, every year it floods or every two years it floods and we have to put up with this. If the county would do their job, if the state would do their job, it probably wouldn’t be as bad," said Sally McDowell who lives off of Pitch Landing Road.

McDowell said despite the fact she’s lived here for years, flooding still worries her.

“Right down yonder it’s up to my bumper on my little truck right now, so by tonight, I won’t be able to get back in there. It’s very frustrating, you know, with the county and the state," McDowell said.

O’Leary said on top of demanding the council to work to keep flooding on top of mind, victims of flooding should not be forgotten either.

“I think so many times after a flood event, people move on and forget these families," O’Leary said.

Horry County Councilman Johhny Vaught spoke to WMBF News over the phone. He said when it comes to the work he is doing on council, flooding and public safety are both top priorities when it comes to the work he does.

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