‘Once the water comes, there’s no escape’: County installs new outfall, plans more drainage projects for Socastee

Published: May. 9, 2022 at 8:35 PM EDT|Updated: May. 9, 2022 at 8:36 PM EDT
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HORRY COUNTY, S.C. (WMBF) - Fixing flooding in Socastee - one drain at a time.

After months of planning and three weeks of intense work, Horry County Stormwater and Public Works finished a new outfall on Folly Road.

This new outfall should help clear up the flooding immediately above it on Folly Road, but also 300 acres inland, where the ditch used to flood and stay flooded. That means people around there may not have to hold their breath every time it rains.

”When I see King Tide on TV, I panic,” said Dominique Weber, who lives near the outfall on Folly Road.

Weber said if there’s one thing she’s gotten used to about living near the Intracoastal Waterway, it’s being trapped by the floods.

She said in February 2021, she spent 13 days trapped in her home when the water came up eight feet.

“My neighbor across the street, she’s got two kayaks,” said Weber. “She called me to say, ‘Do you need anything from the store?’ I said, ‘Yeah,’ and we had to actually kayak down the block.”

Weber may have fewer kayaking days in her future.

The Horry County Stormwater and Public Works teams just finished installing a 4-foot by 12-foot culvert that will help floodwaters work their way back out to the Intracoastal.

“We’re going to see a benefit of this more than once a year I would say,” said Horry County Stormwater Manager Thom Roth. “This design will improve the drainage on these flash flood events, these heavy downpours with a lot of rain at a time.”

Roth said the recent increase in the stormwater fees is what’s paying for capital improvement projects like this.

Two more are in the works in Socastee, including a new outfall on the other side of Folly Road, to direct water away from the homes.

The other project will look to redirect water around Bellamy Lane so it will have a better path back to the Intracoastal and away from homes on the small streets near Socastee Boulevard.

All to make life a little safer for folks like Weber.

“I hope so,” said Weber. “I mean, we won’t know until the next time it rains, or we get a flood.”

It’s worth noting, the outfall won’t prevent the Intracoastal’s waters from rising and flooding the area, but it will improve drainage back into the Intracoastal during heavy rains.

The project was completed just in time to find out how it’ll work, with hurricane season just three weeks away.

Roth said this should benefit not only people living on Folly Road but 300 acres worth of Socastee.

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