EPA to help Myrtle Beach improve response to flooding

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WBTW) – The city of Myrtle Beach is working with federal officials to improve its response to flooding.

The city will work with the Environmental Protection Agency to hold a Flood Resilience program next month.  The EPA will also host a workshop with the contractors, and possibly FEMA representatives, where Myrtle Beach residents can state their concerns or complaints about flood and storm water management.

Luanna Evans says she’ll definitely be attending, after experiencing flooding issues at her home on King Street for years. “The roads are flooded, the ditches overflow, my yard floods up, the water comes to the door. It’s a mess, just a mess”. She’s lived there for almost 40 years, and whenever there’s heavy rain, she says, “you know it’s time to go. I leave. Last time I went to my brother’s and stayed two days.”

Myrtle Beach is one of five cities from across the country that the EPA has chosen to fund this program for. It will spend about $100,000 to bring in contractors that will survey the city to identify where it can improve its flood management systems. “What we hope the program will provide us with is a list of goals to help us reduce the potential risk from flooding in the future” says city planner Allison Hardin.

She adds, “anytime we can make the community safer, and make it easier for residents to come back after an event, where they don’t have to come back to a damaged home or a business that’s inundated with water, is a time we can spend getting back to business.”

Though the city does has some vulnerable areas in mind that it would like to address – “Anywhere on Ocean Blvd that is low lying and doesn’t yet have an outfall, like 4th to 14th N. We have some points on Kings Hwy where the water comes over the road, probably between 50th and 68th” – Hardin says officials want to hear what areas residents feel need the most attention. “We need to get input from the public. With the public coming and telling us where they see flooding problems happening , or where they’ve experienced flooding in their own life, that may help us prepare ourselves ahead of the next event.”

The Flood Resilience workshop is scheduled for March 15th, between 5:30 and 7:30 PM. If you would like to attend you can register by calling (843) 918-1050.