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Conway awarded $6 million grant to help mitigate flooding

Updated: Feb. 15, 2021 at 7:17 PM EST
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CONWAY, S.C. (WMBF) – A flooding mitigation project is in the works in Conway after the city was awarded a multi-million dollar grant from the Economic Development Administration, officials announced Monday.

According to a press release from the city, the approximately $6 million grant will be used to make wastewater system infrastructure upgrades and allow for new development by eliminating overflow during flood events.

“If you were in the area during Hurricane Florence, you’d know that there was a terrible smell to the floodwaters and that was because of failures of wastewater systems upstream,” Deputy City Administrator John Rogers said.

Officials say the EDA grant will be matched with $1.5 million in local funds.

“This EDA award was made to the City of Conway because of our propensity towards flooding, heightened incidences (in frequency and levels of flooding), and the growing challenges created by flooding for our people and their property. City staff applied for this competitive grant over a year ago. Without their talent and dedication to detail, our need would have remained unmet,” Mayor Barbara Blain-Bellamy said in the release.

The proposed project has two parts, the first of which is located at Crabtree Pump Station, which is located near Mill Pond Road off Highway 501.

According to the release, the city hopes to increase the size of the lift station and run a parallel line to increase the capacity and prevent future issues during peak rain events.

Officials said this will allow for improved service to meet the growing needs of the community, both in Conway and in surrounding areas. The project has been identified as the most critical water and sewer infrastructure project for the city, the release stated.

“This is one of those things, kind of like grants you hear about, always dream about actually receiving,” Rogers said. “It’s great to be able to get a project that we’ve needed so much finally underway.”

According to officials, the second part of the project is the construction of a new lift station located off Church Street in the Park Hill area. The new pump station will accept the flow from a portion of Highway 501 that is currently served by the Crabtree Pump Station.

Rogers said the project will also help maintain utility services during disasters for people and businesses already in the area.

Floyd Smith, the owner of Conway Feed and Garden, said the flooding is getting worse and more frequent.

“Every time a storm comes up, people are a little on edge about it,” Smith said.

Smith said he’s interested to see the changes the improvements bring.

“Anything they do would actually be a help,” Smith said.

The city said the project is expected to begin in late spring and is slated to be completed in 18 months.

The application for the project was submitted last January, according to the release.

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