Filbin Creek Drainage Study leads to flap gate replacement

NORTH CHARLESTON , SC (AP) - People who live along the Filbin Creek in North Charleston are looking for answers to their flooding issues.

The creek stretches across North Charleston along I-526.

Last month the City of North Charleston announced the completion of a nearly $100,000 study to fix the problem.

People who live near Filbin Creek experienced major flooding issues during Hurricane Matthew and were impacted by Hurricane Irma.

Residents also have problems with day-to-day drainage.

North Charleston resident Michael Babich lives in Cameron Terrance.

"My backyard will get several feet," Babich says."I've seen it as high as six feet deep in my backyard, most of it comes from the backwash of Filbin Creek."

The flooding problems in the area prompted the drainage study to find solutions.

As a result of the study the Department of Transportation is replacing the missing flap gate to improve drainage problems.

When fixed it will keep the salt water from the Cooper River from entering the creek.

Michael Horton is the Chief Engineering Officer with Davis & Floyd, Inc. who was contracted to do the study.

"It should bring down some level of the flooding, but primarily will address high ground elevated water levels, standing water and some of the vegetative growth that has died off here more recently along the basin," Horton said.

The flap gate fix will not stop the storm surge during major weather events, but will help with the day-to-day flooding.

"We found the basin was primarily influenced by tidal surges from the Cooper River from both Irma and Matthew as well as the heavy rainfall that occurred from both of those storm events," Horton said.

"At the end of the day we are happy that flap is going to be fixed," said William Parker, president of the Cameron Terrace Oak Park Civic Club.

However, Parker wishes the city asked for the study to be done differently.

"We live in the Lowcountry, if we are not spending a lot of money to aggressively catch up on stormwater drainage systems we are all in for a heep of trouble," Parker said.

Residents say their property values and insurance rates have been impacted negatively from the flooding.

"The study did not gives us any information that we didn't already know," Babich said.

The neighborhoods impacted by flooding and covered in the study near the Filbin Creek are in federally designated flood zones.

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