New study seeks to more accurately predict flood threats in Georgetown

VIDEO: New study seeks to more accurately predict flood threats in Georgetown

GEORGETOWN, SC (WCSC) - Less than a week after Georgetown was expected to have historic flooding, a study to hopes to find out how to accurately predict high water threats in the future.

The study, conducted by the Baruch Institute, is made specifically to gather data in areas that don’t already have a lot of information.

According to Tom Williams, the director of the flood plain study, the lack of information on specific areas is why the flood predictions were wrong two weeks ago.

Williams said although it is hard to predict something you’ve never seen before, he hopes to do just that.

“I know something about that, why not go ahead and do something so the next time we have a better idea at what will happen,” says Williams.

Homes and businesses were left empty for days as the expected crest date for the rivers came closer. As the date got closer, the threat of devastating flooding got lower. Many places that were expected to have several feet of water ended up staying completely dry.

“The Little Peedee crested before the Peedee so they crested at different times, it reduced flooding,” says Williams.

Williams said by focusing on the zones that don’t have much information gathered, his team may be able to predict where the high water will be specifically and how much water there will be.

“The idea would be that it would be better, we can say with confidence to some people they don’t have to leave, right now we don’t have that confidence,” says Williams.

He said although it will take years to gather enough data for a full new map, it’s better late than never.

“Florence revealed something we need to fix,” says Williams. “It’s a little broke, it didn’t kill us, let’s do the best we can to fix it.”

Williams and his team have already put out new markers in the testing zone to begin studying the areas so that all data gathered can help as soon as possible.

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