Horry County wants state and feds to clean out Waccamaw River to help with flooding

Flooding along Waccamaw River in Conway

SOCASTEE, SC (WBTW) – Horry County leaders want to lean on the state and federal government to clean out the Waccamaw River.

Horry County Council member Johnny Vaught says the river is filled with trees, limbs, and trash that needs to come up so that the water can move more freely.

Zach Sebald took us on his boat through his neighborhood right after the Waccamaw River flooded his home during Hurricane Matthew.

“To see everything under water and having people who we know lives affected and our own lives affected is a shame,” said Sebald.

We introduced  you to family after family with the same problem, and that’s why Horry County leaders want to find a solution.

“If you ride down the Waccamaw and I was raised on it, there are so many limbs and  trees and stuff down in the Waccamaw that it’s almost not navigable,” said Vaught.

Vaught compares the river to a ditch filled with trash and says until what’s at the bottom comes up, flooding will continue to happen.

“Now, when we get floods, the water first comes up in the river obviously and then when it tops off in the river it tops out all the surrounding areas around the river basin if they’re not real high,” said Vaught.

He says that’s why they want the Army Corps of Engineers to come in with a barge to pull up the debris and move it away from the river.

It’s a request Vaught says Brunswick County is also making for their portion of the river.

“It wouldn’t be funding from us. We’re just trying to present a unified front from Brunswick County because they share the Waccamaw with us and really if  they got theirs cleaned up and we didn’t get ours cleaned up, it wouldn’t do them a lot of good either, would it,” asks Vaught.

Vaught says about 20 years ago the county requested to have the river cleaned out by the Army Corps of Engineers. .

A representative from the Army Corps of Engineers says there wasn’t enough damage or debris then, and in order for them to look at helping now they’d first have to receive a formal request from Horry County and meet with county leaders to look at the needs.